Jazz and Beyond
Grammy® nominated vocalist, pianist and songwriter Nicole Zuraitis draws from the traditions of jazz, pop and blues to create music that is rich in depth and heart. As a bandleader, a recording artist and the premiere vocalist of the world famous Birdland Big Band among other notable ensembles, Nicole has established herself as a staple on the New York City Jazz scene and has made a significant mark on the global modern jazz landscape.
This musical chameleon brings creative ingenuity and her signature warmth to a wide array of genres and styles. Nicole’s stunning vocal prowess paired with her facility on the piano and her talent as a consummate entertainer prove that she is anything but your average jazz singer.
In 2019, Nicole’s illustrious career blossomed even further when her and her husband, renowned drummer and bandleader Dan Pugach, were dually nominated for a Grammy® for their arrangement of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. Nicole can be found gracing the stages at both the iconic Birdland Jazz Club and Greenwich Village’s 55 Bar weekly, displaying her stellar vocal capacity; an intersection where virtuosity meets unbridled, genuine enthusiasm.
Nicole is a proud educator. Her extensive resume includes songwriting and jazz workshops worldwide, including Berklee College of Music, University of North Texas, New School University in New York City, Williams College, Litchfield Jazz Camp, Australian Embassy, Burnt Hills High School Artist in Residence, Israel Embassy, SAM Academy in Chennai India and Miami Arts Charter School. Nicole believes music should spark joy, not fear. All abilities are welcome to her studio.
Nicole’s critically acclaimed 2018 release, Hive Mind (Dot Time Records) earned the title of ‘Best Jazz Album’ in the 2018 International Music and Entertainment Awards. In 2015, Nicole was the second runner-up in the illustrious Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and won the Herb Alpert ASCAP Young Composer Award in 2014. In addition, Zuraitis has assembled an all-star female ensemble to record her project Generations of Her - Women Songwriters and Lyricists of the Last 100 Years.