GRAMMY-Nominated Vocalist and Pianist Nicole Zuraitis Earns Second Career GRAMMY® Nomination for How Love Begins (Outside In Music)

How Love Begins is nominated for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 66th GRAMMY® Awards

Listen to “How Love Begins” here

“A stunning singer with an equally adept pen.” – The New York City Jazz Record

New York, NY – Celebrated vocalist, composer and pianist Nicole Zuraitis is celebrating  a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category for her new album How Love Begins (Outside In Music). Praised as a “supreme talent” and “a first-rate songwriter, powerhouse vocalist and grade-A pianist” by All About Jazz, Zuraitis is loved by audiences all over the world for her relatable and emotionally-compelling songs, sophisticated arrangements, and rich voice. Co-produced by jazz giant Christian McBride and featuring all of Zuraitis’ original own music, How Love Begins is her sixth album, and brings forth her second career GRAMMY® nomination. The GRAMMY® Awards will take place on February 4, 2024. 

“As a musician and songwriter working my way tirelessly through the New York City jazz scene for the last 12 years, I am floored and grateful for the nomination and peer-recognized validation of my commitment to honoring and writing jazz music,” shared Zuraitis. Self-produced, and self-funded during a particularly challenging two years for the singer, the independent artist helped bring How Love Begins to life with the support of her community, grants and boots-on-the-ground marketing, complimented by a vigorous and grueling touring schedule. “I hope I can inspire someone else working in the musical ‘trenches’ to keep pushing forward towards their goals.” 

Released this past summer, How Love Begins is an ardent, vulnerable and relatable meditation on modern love. Made up of ten Zuraitis-penned compositions How Love Begins chronicles the many phases of love, and is divided into two halves, titled oil and water. This format, which verifies the idea that “opposites attract”, embodies a story of romance initially blessed with harmony yet eventually plagued with discord. 

The album was conceived between Zuraitis and Christian McBride in 2021 after several years of dreaming about collaborating. The musical partners first crossed paths in New York City, just a few months after she placed in the International Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition. Following many years of mutual admiration, the two artists finally came together on this fruitful collaboration. “Working with Nicole was an absolute thrill. She does everything at the highest level: singing, playing, writing, producing, and arranging,” shared Christian McBride in a press statement. “I’m putting big, big money on Nicole. I can’t wait to see her career explode.” 

Winner of the prestigious American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal in 2021, Zuraitis is one of New York City’s busiest and most versatile entertainers. As a recording artist, she has released five albums and appeared on countless others. Besides leading her quartet, Nicole is the premier vocalist for the Birdland Big Band and frequently headlines iconic NYC jazz clubs like Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center, Birdland, the Blue Note, the Carlyle,  54 Below and the late, great 55 Bar. She has appeared as a featured soloist with the Savannah Philharmonic, Asheville Symphony and Macon Pops and has supported iconic singers like Melanie, Morgan James, Darren Criss and Livingston Taylor on piano and vocals. In 2018, Zuraitis and her husband, drummer Dan Pugach, were nominated for their first GRAMMY Award in the Best Arrangement, Instrument & Vocals category for their rendition of “Jolene”. During the pandemic, Pugach and Zuraitis achieved international notoriety with their ever-popular Virtual Piano Legend, which was highlighted for Forbes Magazine. Much of her artistry is fueled by her keen interest in advocacy work and community building. Notably, the release of How Love Begins coincided with a self-produced music festival and day of activism for Save the Sound.org.

Nicole Zuraitis is proud to share this nomination alongside Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke, Patti Austin, esperanza spalding and Fred Hersch, and Cécile McLorin Salvant. 

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