Born into a Family of passionate Salsa Fans in the city of Burbank, California in the month of November 1992, Zak Astor grew up mainly in Woodland Hills, California, and is of Dominican/Caribbean ancestry. As a toddler his favorite, and only toys were a xylophone, keyboard, guitar, and drums.
At age 3 entered a Montessori preschool, and could read shortly thereafter. At age 4 Zak began his formal classical piano study under the tutelage of a Russian Master who was known for producing child prodigies. Zak had his 1st recital at age 5, and was at age 6 identified as Highly Gifted/Highly Talented by The Los Angeles Unified School District. By age 8 Zak was performing in public events. Zak began taking Salsa Piano lessons at age 9 while attending Plaza de La Raza School of Performing and Visual Arts, he then began his early Jazz Education as a Jazz Pianist at age 10 when he passed the audition for JazzAmerica a program that provides Jazz Master Classes to highly gifted high school musicians, and which was founded by Jazz Legend Buddy Collette.
In 2003 Zak attended Millikan Music Academy, and then in 2004 transferred to Pacoima Middle School to join the LAUSD #1 middle school Jazz Band under Musical Director George Carganilla who just happened to also be the Musical Director of The USAF Jazz Band and who regularly performed at The White House. There Zak attended after school Jazz Master Classes provided by Dr. JB Dyas of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz on a weekly basis and also received weekly private Jazz Piano lessons at The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz who at that time was located on the USC campus.
In 2006 Zak applied and auditioned as a Jazz Pianist to the Jazz Department of The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts a highly selective, and Nationally recognized high school for the very talented only by audition only. After being officially accepted he temporarily relocated to Monterey Park, California for the next 4 years. In his Freshman year he participated in the Documentary “Fame High” which followed the lives of 4 selected Freshman and 4 selected Seniors for 1 year. During his 4 years at LACHSA he won numerous Awards, Competitions, and Scholarships. He also attended The Colburn School and was a member of the Monday Night and Thursday Night Jazz Combos under the direction of Dr. Lee Secard. Zak performed at Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation, and The Reno Jazz Festival winning The Top Soloist Award. Zak graduated in 2010 majoring in Jazz Piano, and Classical Voice.
Zak began his Professional Musical Career performing in Salsa Nightclubs at the age of 13, and by age 17 he was the featured soloist for Orquesta Son Mayor considered the best Salsa band in Los Angeles, and quickly became arguably the best Salsa Piano Player in Los Angeles. Zak performed 10-15 shows a month, and during this time Zak was also the 1st Tenor of The First United Methodist Church Choir in Glendale, Ca. After leaving Orquesta Son Mayor in 2013 Zak began an 18 month residency at The Riviera Country Club, as a Solo Pianist performing for the ultra wealthy members, that included politicians, dignitaries, and the Hollywood elite. During this time he was also a Solo Pianist for The Beverly Hills Hotel.
In October 2015 Zak decided to dedicate all his energy, focus, and attention on the daunting task of writing an Urban Tropical album. After a 2 year hiatus Zak began working in a privately owned State of the Art music recording studio in Sherman Oaks under the guidance of a Grammy, and Emmy Award winning producer involved in a wide range of music related projects.