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NICOLE ZURAITIS

A Grammy-Award nominated musician, powerhouse vocalist, bandleader, and winner of the 2021 American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal, New-York-based recording artist Nicole Zuraitis continues to establish herself as an undeniable force in the modern-Jazz landscape of both New York and beyond. 

Nicole's bold, versatile voice possesses a special combination of soothing warmth, familiar authenticity, and raw grit that is reinventing what the world's conception is of what a Jazz artist can be. Nicole infuses elements of multiple genres and approaches into her artistry, refusing to limit herself to any one corner of the music business.  With a "heart as big as her remarkable voice," (Jazz Police), Nicole's effervescent personality and boundless enthusiasm for sharing the joy of music keep her audiences thrilled.

Nicole is the premier vocalist for both The Birdland Big Band and the Dan Pugach Nonet; her forthcoming release Oil on Water: How Love Begins, a collaboration with co-producer Christian McBride, is set for 2023 release.  As a recording artist, Nicole has released four albums as headlining leader, including 2020's All Wandering Hearts (Dot Time Records). 

Outside of music, Nicole was featured by Columbia News Tonight as New Yorker of the Week for her work with shelter animals and fostering dogs.  Nicole earned her MBA online from LSUS during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to rehabilitate pit bulls and donate portions of her album-sale income to local rescue groups. 

In 2019 Nicole was nominated for a Grammy Award alongside her husband, drummer and bandleader Dan Pugach, for their joint arrangement and performance of Dolly Parton's hit song "Jolene".   In recognition of her talent and success, Nicole has won a litany of other awards including The New York City Songwriting Competition Coffee Music Project (2016), The Gold Medal, Ben Tucker Jazz Award, People's Choice and Johnny Mercer Award in the National American Traditions Vocal Competition.  Nicole was also the second runner up in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, and in 2020 Forbes Magazine featured Nicole's pandemic pivot project, Virtual Piano Lounge Plus One.