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on July 12, 2014 at 7:20 PM, updated July 12, 2014 at 7:37 PM 0RedditEmail Jazz Fest 2014
With natural charm and a mega-watt smile, 18-year-old Nick Ziobro kicked off the second day of the M&T Jazz Fest on Saturday evening.
Ziobro told syracuse.com earlier this week about his roots in musical theater, immediately evident as he burst onstage with the swagger of skirt-chasing jazz legends before him.
At just 18, Ziobro knows how to play a part. With an old-soul, Rat Pack presence, he wasn't afraid to make prolonged eye contact with audience members, or to break out some soft-shoe around his band members, who were easily twice his age.
But he still kept his sense of humor.
After his third song, a woman yelled out, "Way to go, Nick!"
"Thanks, Mom!" Ziobro called back.
That was a relief, because he must know how absurd it is to see a teenager singing about passionate love, heartbreak and revenge like he's lived the life of Don Draper.
Still, he channeled those age-old sentiments with ease and his silky voice never wavered. Even in a pressed black suit and tie, Ziobro didn't seem to break a sweat once throughout his 15-song set.
If you had closed your eyes while he crooned "For Once In My Life," his voice could have been Michael Buble's.
And, good grief, props to the kid for actually pulling off cuff links.
An hour is a long time to give a breakout singer, but Ziobro filled it well, alternating between slow standards like Cole Porter's "So In Love" and quirky covers like "The Rainbow Connection."
Around his tenth song, his dance moves slowed down, probably thanks to the heat. But by the 14th song, he was at it again.
During his encore, "All of Me," he hopped around the stage as if he just remembered he could have fun up there.
Along with yesterday's opening Jazz Fest act, Julia Goodwin, Ziobro also won Michael Feinstein's Great American Songbook competition. He just graduated Fayetteville-Manlius High School and will attend Rider University in the fall.
Like his first album's name, sure, he still has "A Lot of Livin' to Do."
But he's already got one hell of start.
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