Maya is a Senior at New York University studying Contemporary Vocal Performance
with a minor in Digital Art and Design. With a passion for the arts, music, and
activism, she is proud to have been a part of performances throughout New York
City, performing at the Bitter End, Pete’s Candy Store, Breaking Sounds, and
PinkFROG cafe. She has also been a part of multiple university performances such
as the NYU Skirball’s Stand For Climate Change concert as a lead vocalist, Cover
Me Productions, and the Songwriting Vocal Collaboration which she has been a
part of for the past two years. Her passion for singing inspired her passion for music
education as well. She is currently a member of the musical mentor collaborative
where she volunteers to teach private voice lessons for elementary students in NYC.
Hoping to continue her journey as an artist, she has been working on her own
songwriting and is currently a member of Sirena Marie’s band as a background
vocalist. Maya is thrilled to continue her musical journey learning from renowned
professors and musicians such as Dr. Ana Flavia Zuim, Janice Pendarvis, and
Nicole Zuraitis. @mayamthu
30. Best Jazz Vocal Album
For albums containing greater than 75% playing time of new vocal jazz recordings.
How Love Begins
Nicole Zuraitis is a GRAMMY-nominated jazz singer-songwriter, pianist and arranger, New York-based bandleader and winner of the prestigious 2021 American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal. With a “heart as big as her remarkable voice,” (Jazz Police), Nicole has positioned herself as one of the top artists and “prolific songwriters” (Broadway World) to watch in jazz and beyond.
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. As a recording artist, Nicole has released five albums as leader, and her sixth album How Love Begins, co-produced with eight-time GRAMMY-winner Christian McBride, released July 7th, 2023, featuring all original music.
Nicole’s arrangement of Dolly Parton’s Jolene, co-written with renowned drummer and bandleader Dan Pugach, was nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY®, spring boarding her career and making her a household name in the modern-day jazz landscape. In 2020, she was named in the top 40 under 40 for 2020 in Connecticut Magazine, and her weekly live stream during the Covid-19 crisis, “Virtual Piano Lounge,” was featured in Forbes Magazine. Nicole has collaborated with an extensive list of luminaries, including Christian McBride, David Cook, Gilad Hekselman, Veronica Swift, Benny Benack, Stephen Feifke, Cyrille Aimee, Antonio Sanchez, Dave Stryker, Omar Hakim, Rachel Z, Helen Sung, and Bernard Purdie. She is a proud educator and currently vocal faculty at NYU and Suny Purchase.
An ardent activist with a decade-long track record of giving back, her album release coincides with a self-produced music festival and day of activism for Save the Sound. Org. For more information, visit www.nicolezmusic.com or tag @nicolezmusic.