Grammy Awards: Graduate, Faculty Members Of Purchase College Win Big

A graduate and two faculty members from a college in Westchester are among the winners of the 2024 GRAMMY Awards. 

From left to right: Samara Joy, Silas Brown, Nicole Zuraitis. 

From left to right: Samara Joy, Silas Brown, Nicole Zuraitis. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Nzprelations, Schorle/Purchase College

Purchase College alum Samara Joy as well as faculty members Nicole Zuraitis and Silas Brown each took home awards during the ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 4 in Los Angeles, California. 

Joy, who graduated from Purchase in 2021, won her third award for Best Jazz Performance for her song "Tight," which she self-produced. This is not her first rodeo, as Joy also won Best New Artist and Best New Jazz Vocal Album in 2023. 

Zuraitis, a Lecturer of Jazz Studies at Purchase, won the Best Jazz Vocal Album for her album, "How Love Begins." She was also nominated for a Grammy in 2019 for her arrangement of "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, which she co-wrote with drummer and bandleader Dan Pugach. 

Brown, an Assistant Professor of Music who also graduated from Purchase in 2010, won two awards during the star-studded night. These included:

  • Best Engineered Album, Classical for "Contemporary American Composers," for which he served as mastering engineer;
  •  Best Classical Compendium for "Passion For Bach And Coltrane," which he produced with Mark Dover. 

The college's Director of the Conservatory of Music, Jennifer Undercofler, expressed excitement that those associated with Purchase were going on to be recognized for amazing work.

"The faculty, staff, and students of the Conservatory of Music are incredibly proud of our faculty members Silas Brown and Nicole Zuraitis, and our alumna Samara Joy, for their wins at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards," Undercofler said. 

She continued, "The Conservatory provides an environment where talented students from all backgrounds can work with faculty on the caliber of Mr. Brown and Ms. Zuraitis and explore what it means to be a successful musician in the 21st century. Samara is an excellent example of an incredible talent who had the chance to spread her wings and grow into the amazing mature musician she is today, on the campus of Purchase College." 

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