VOCALIST PIANIST SONGWRITER
“A heart as big as her remarkable voice”-- JAZZ POLICE
“Zuraitis writes her own material, and her deftness with a lyric is decidedly pronounced; second, she’s a damned good piano player.... With an effervescent stage presence and a vocal style that’s equal parts Diana Krall and Bonnie Raitt, Nicole Zuraitis is already something special, but she also has the tools to be something very big. Watch this space.” -JAY HUNTER Nippertown Lake George Jazz Festival Review 2019
"Brooklyn’s Nicole Zuraitis Brings Visceral Vocals, Her Powerhouse Presence and Winning Songwriting to Jazz Outing, Hive Mind (Dot Time Records)."- KEN MICALLEF (DOWNBEAT)
"Emerging onto the scene with a notably warm personality, Zuraitis, vocalist extraordinaire, gave her audience a blues “clinic.”....soaring vocals... intimate familiarity....intonation and dreamy clarity.....I watched, transfixed by Zuraitis’s careful mastery of both piano and vocal. She made a mark for herself there (Birdland Jazz Club).”- CHRIS STRUCK, CABARET SCENES MAGAZINE 2019
“A playful pianist....sublime vocals.... Zuraitis unwound a sweeping, sunny set.... it’s clear that above all else, she is a musician first — her well-cultivated, swingin’ and misbehavin’ stage presence notwithstanding. Opening act Nicole Zuraitis rules the night at the Cabot.” CHAD KONECKY, WICKED LOCAL BOSTON 2019
"A voice that's hard to ignore... remarkable range... you can't help but stop and take notice." -- JAZZ INSIDE MAGAZINE
"Zuraitis conveys a warm folksy yearning...stands out....breezy elegance...coos sassily like Peggy Lee." - ALL ABOUT JAZZ 2018
“Nicole is a very accomplished musician, plain and simple. Nicole’s singing is out of this world but so is her composing, arranging, band leading and piano playing. She has strong charisma as she simultaneously excites the audience and makes them feel comfortable. Great presence doesn't always go hand-in-hand with great musicianship, but that certainly is not the case with Nicole.” --Antonio Sanchez, Pat Metheny Group, Migration, Birdman
"A strong musicianship that is never compromised, the gorgeous and capable instrument that can be conversational one moment and then soar to the heavens the next, the sincere storytelling that is always present in her delivery. Nicole is one of my favorite vocalists…a masterful musician who uses her knowledge for the good of the story. This is a rare and beautiful thing."- JANE MONHEIT
“Nicole Z is an important new voice on the New York scene. Nicole’s songs bring excellence to her generation, and her unwavering spirit will inspire all people who hear her gorgeous music.” -Rachel Z
"Zuraitis’ fluid, natural sound is very much richly expressive and wide ranging... her composing full of jazz sensibility and great emotional depth, open to a variety of influences.... an emotive voice with seductive warmth.... 'Pariah Anthem' is a winning exhibition of her performance and songwriting skills." -- HARTFORD COURANT
not your average jazz singer
Grammy® Nominated New York based musician Nicole Zuraitis blends clever songwriting skills, an effervescent presence and dazzling vocals in a consummate package that has thrilled audiences across Manhattan and across the world. If recently you happened upon Greenwich Village’s 55 Bar or Birdland Jazz Club and were enchanted by the seismic versatile talent of inspired vocalist, keyboard player and songwriter Nicole Zuraitis, you’re officially part of the lady-powerhouse burgeoning fan club.
Nicole was nominated dually with her husband Dan Pugach in the arrangement category the 61st annual Grammy® Awards for their version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. She is the 2016 New York City Songwriting Competition Coffee Music Project Winner, 2015 second runner-up in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and the 2014 Herb Alpert ASCAP Young Composer Awards Winner. She's also the People’s Choice and Johnny Mercer Award winner in the National American Traditions Vocal Competition. She is the vocalist for the world famous Birdland Big Band in New York City and her album Hive Mind won Best Jazz Album in the 2018 International Music and Entertainment Awards. Her brand new project, Generations of Her: Women Songwriters and Lyricists of the last 100 years has sold out both the Birdland Theater and the Cell Theater in New York within months of its conception. Nicole has headlined the Blue Note (NYC) and maintains residencies at the 55 Bar (every second Thursday of the month), Rockwood Music Hall (with the Dan Pugach Nonet), and Redeye Grill. Audiences love Nicole’s limitless enthusiasm, but that’s only part of her story; only part of her talent.
While pursuing a career that has spanned jazz, pop and classical, Nicole has collaborated with Cyrille Aimee, Thana Alexa, Dave Stryker, Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin, Omar Hakim, Melanie Safka, Helen Sung and Bernard Purdie. She’s performed at festivals nationwide, and has recorded two albums: 2013’s Pariah Anthem and 2009’s Spread The Word, both releases featuring the cream of New York’s jazz hierarchy.
Nicole’s new recording, Hive Mind (Dot Time Records), chronicles themes close to her heart, including an unflinching love of family and friends delivered with a sincere spirit that finds release in eight intimate original compositions (and two covers) which span genres. After hearing Hive Mind, you’d expect nothing less from this NYU trained classical vocalist and Connecticut born songwriter who swings hard as she brings listeners under her enveloping musical wings.
She has two self released albums under her belt, including the 2013 release Pariah Anthem (Vic-tor Gould, Ilan Bar Lavi, Nandini Srikar) and the 2009 release Spread The Word featuring Winard Harper and the Curtis Brothers. Her third album "Hive Mind" will be released in 2017. Nicole’s world music band EVA just released their EP Take Some Air to rave reviews. She continues working with producer Tim Walsh of The Stepkids on an electronic pop alter ego called "nikki and the riot". Don't forget to check out her singles “Long Meadow Vine” (Featuring Cyrille Aimee and Thana Alexa) and “For the Lonely". In December 2018, she released a live duo album with guitarist Brandon Scott Coleman called “Live at the Two Headed Calf”.
Nicole is a proud faculty member of the Litchfield Jazz Camp. She has taught songwriting and jazz vocal workshops worldwide, including the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in India, Israel Embassy, Australian consulate, high school workshop residencies and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She was featured in a video interview by Columbia News Tonight as "New Yorker of the week" for her work with music and shelter animals and hopes to continue giving back by raising awareness for the mental health stigma.