Photo By Brooke Duffy
Live at the 2008 Litchfield Jazz Festival Photo By Antonio Monteiro
Photo by Emma Lauren
Brooklyn based Vocalist and pianist Nicole Zuraitis is as diverse as the city that spawned her music. Using world travel experience as inspiration for her sound, genre-bending is her forte; cultivating her diverse musical background into a sound that can only be described as hybrid innovation. A 2014 winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers award, Nicole bridges the gap between genres while utilizing her unparalleled vocals. Having recently returned from a tour sponsored by the american embassy in Israel and Australia, she is thrilled to join forces with fellow faculty member Carmen Staaf on the mainstage of the 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 9th at Noon.
Nicole has shared the stage with the extraordinary Jane Monheit for the performance of "Jane Monheit and the Ladies of Jazz" in Connecticut, as well as Livingston Taylor with her world folk group the Jammin Divas. Nicole holds residencies at numerous hot spots in NYC and plays lead keyboards for The Kevin Osborne band. She was recognized as a finalist in the 2013 Songdoor International Songwriting Contest, as well as a selected competitor for the 2013 New York City WNYC Battle of the Boroughs. Nicole has opened for jazz legend Dave Brubeck, the doo-woop group "the Platters" and collaborated with world renowned Indian carnatic guitarist and composer Prasanna while teaching and touring in India. 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.
Motivated by all genres, Nicole received her Bachelor of Music from New York University in classical vocal performance, and has been pursuing a successful and diverse career ever since. In July 2008 she released her first jazz album full of cherished classic love songs "Nicole Zuraitis; Spread the Word", featuring Luques and Zaccai Curtis as well as Winard Harper. She is fortunate to have played with jazz all stars such as Jane Monheit, Bobby Militello, Rachel Z, Prasanna, Panagiotis Andreau, Lauren Sevian, Michael Kanan, Don Braden, Dave Stryker, Charli Persip, Winard Harper, Victor Gould and Chris Brubeck. She recently completed her sophomore album entitled “Pariah Anthem” which features 10 original compositions. The album showcases the talents of Victor Gould, Billy Buss, Julian Shore, Ilan Bar Lavi, Dan Pugach, Scott Colberg, Jon Paul and carnatic vocalist Nandini Srikar. Nicole also plays the piano on four tracks.
Nicole is dedicated to raising awareness for homeless shelter animals and donates $1 from every CD sold to rescue groups she works with in NYC.
Nicole is proud to be a freelance educator and private voice teacher. She joined the faculty of the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Chennai, India in the Spring of 2012, along with Manu Koch, Panagiotis Andreau, Harvey Wirht and Sebastian Cruz. Nicole is proud of be a longstanding employee of Litchfield Performing Arts and is on the vocal faculty for the Litchfield Jazz Camp. She is proud to be part of the Miami arts Charter School jazz intensive curated by fellow Litchfield colleague, Albert Rivera. Her private vocal studio is based in NYC, Long Island and Westchester. www.nicolezuraitis.com