Hailing from Adelaide, Australia, Tzan Niko is a highly regarded musician, known for his versatility and dynamic performances. He joined the internationally acclaimed Zep Boys in 2012 after a successful season playing lead guitar in the high profile Australian seasons of the guitar fuelled Broadway hit Rock of Ages.
In his Rock of Ages review for The Australian, Arts columnist Chris Boyd identified Tzan as an “extraordinary guitarist,” also tweeting: “how freakin’ good is guitarist Tzan Niko? If he were any better, you’d swear he was fakin’ ”. The musical opened to five star reviews and standing ovations.
Dave Gibbs, Music Supervisor and Associate Producer of Rock Of Ages, describes Tzan as “the consummate musician. He is prepared, focused, tasteful, super easy to work with, and above all – he flat out rocks like crazy.”
In 2016, the Zep Boys joined forces with The Black Dog Orchestra and promoters Phil Bathols and Tim Woods, and began to regularly tour the Led Zeppelin Masters ‘Stairway to Heaven’ concert to Australia’s major venues (including the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and the Adelaide Festival Theatre). They embarked on a successful eight concert tour of the UK in 2017 (including a sold out show at the London Palladium) and will be returning to Europe for 17 concerts in 2019, beginning in Norway on March 22 and ending at London’s Eventim Apollo on April 14.
Tzan’s performances have been applauded by critics and punters alike, resulting in a quickly growing fan base eager to follow his career, including his first solo album, due for release in late 2018. Todd Sucherman, drummer for American outfit Styx, who plays on most of the tracks, said of his compositions: “Tzan's music has been a fun challenge for me. There are unique of elements in the writing and playing so it's been rewarding to participate in the recordings. He's burning, no doubt. I look forward to recording some more tracks!”
Before Rock Of Ages, Tzan was the first call lead guitarist for national acts visiting Adelaide for major events, including Glen Shorrock, Vanetta Fields, James Blundell, Rhonda Burchmore, Tina Arena, Lisa Edwards, and was the touring guitarist for Marie Wilson and Patrick McMahon. He has played on computer game and movie soundtracks, his versatility seeing him front the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on classical guitar for Rolf De Heer’s 2001 film The Old Man Who Read Love Stories, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Hugo Weaving.
Tzan was lead guitarist in the support act for the 1993 Australian leg of Bon Jovi’s Keep the Faith tour. He appeared on national television programs Midday with Ray Martin, Ernie and Denise and Tonight Live with Steve Vizard. He has been a featured original artist at various events, including the Mix 102.3 Music Expo, Adelaide and South Australian Ibanez guitar clinics. In 2007 and 2008, Tzan performed the Steve Vai set for a series of Australian shows based on G3 Live in Denver.
Tzan finds time to teach guitar to primary and secondary aged students. He inspires guitarists and fans of quality guitar playing, both young and old.
“Nice to see technique, speed, feel and a healthy dose of flash still exist”(Rock Of Ages fan - Mick G)
“Songs by Foreigner, Asia, Styx…and their ilk certainly outnumber the hair metal and hard rock numbers (in Rock Of Ages)…But with Tzan Niko on lead guitar, man…I’d probably hold up a lighter for a song by Hush” (Online blog, The Morning After: Performing Arts in Australia)