Litchfield Jazz Festival & Jazz Camp

Teaching Artists

Nicole Zuraitis

Nicole Zuraitis

Photo By Brooke Duffy

Nicole Zuraitis

Live at the 2008 Litchfield Jazz Festival Photo By Antonio Monteiro

Nicole Zuraitis

Photo by Emma Lauren

Nicole Zuraitis


Nicole Zuraitis has a voice that has been called " hard to ignore... (with)remarkable range... you can't help but stop and take notice." JAZZ INSIDE MAGAZINE

The Brooklyn-based vocalist/pianist is as diverse as the city that spawned her music. Using world travel for inspiration, genre-bending has become her forte and groove based innovation her hallmark.

Nicole’s recent accomplishments include placing 3rd out of 10,000 applicants in the 2015 Sarah Vaughn Competition, advancing to the semi finals in the National American Traditions Vocal Competition and taking home its People's Choice and Johnny Mercer Awards, and winning an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award. She was also a finalist in the Songdoor International Songwriting Contest and the  New York City WNYC Battle of the Boroughs.

Nicole made an international tour last year sponsored by the American Embassy in Israel, as well as a tour to Australia with the world music band EVA. She has performed with Bernard Purdie and Kung Fu, with Omar Hakim, Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin, Bernie Williams, James Montgomery, Dave Stryker, Charli Persip, Rachel Z, Hagar Ben Ari, and Jane Monheit, among others.

Nicole has played Canada’s Stan Rogers Folk Fest Australia’s Port Ferry Festival, Israel’s Jacobs Ladder Festival, the New England Jazz and Blues Fest, the Chautaqua Music Festival, Bonnaroo, and the Litchfield Jazz Festival.

Nicole has been in residence at numerous hot spots in NYC, including the 55 bar, Mastro's, Red Eye Grille, Rockwood Music Hall, Toshi's Living Room and the famous Friars Club. She plays lead keyboards for The Kevin Osborne band and at the Plaza Hotel Tony Awards After Party. She opened for jazz legend Dave Brubeck and 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.

Nicole received her Bachelor of Music degree 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 "Nicole Zuraitis—Spread the Word,”

featuring Luques and Zaccai Curtis and Winard Harper. She completed her sophomore album, “Pariah Anthem,” in 2013; it features 10 original compositions and her piano playing on four tracks. She is currently working on a five-song EP with producer Tim Walsh of the StepKids due out in August 2015 and is recording of her 4th album. Because Nicole is an animal rights activist as well as a musician with a special interest in shelter animals, she donates $1 from every CD she sells to NYC rescue groups.

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. She is a longstanding faculty member at Litchfield Jazz Camp and for other programs of Litchfield Performing Arts where she has been involved since she was 12 years old! 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 Brooklyn, New York.