Jazz songwriter Nicole Zuraitis’ interest in music was sparked at a very young age, from the moment her mother heard her sing Disney’s “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Fast forwarding to her high school years, Zuraitis was taking voice lessons while teaching herself how to play piano. After studying classic opera at New York University and traveling the world after graduation, the Astoria-based musician got to work and formed a jazz trio.
“As a jazz band, the group is always changing, but my core trio has been together for three years,” she said.
Zuraitis’ music contains classic, effortless piano melodies and a fluid rhythm section that can move between laid-back and frantic over the course of one song. The strongest point though is her vocals, which can soulfully sweep over the landscape, switch octaves on the fly or be pulled back to a subtler, gentle approach.
“I love Queens for numerous reasons, both fun filled and logistical,” she said. “As a full time musician, I am constantly traveling, and my neighborhood is easy access from the highway, other boroughs and the TriBorough Bridge.”
Her second album, “Pariah Anthem,” was released this past January, using an assortment of musicians throughout the record. Since then, she has hit the touring circuit heavily, playing shows all over New York City. If you want to see her in her home borough, she will be playing at The Astor Room in Astoria on April 19 and May 3 as well as the LIC Bar on May 1.
“I self-produced both my albums, wrote the music, book all my gigs and tours, hire my musicians and work tirelessly as a pianist and jazz vocalist in event bands, restaurants and bars almost every day of the week,” Zuraitis said.