Born in Burbank, California on November 20th 1992, Zak Astor grew up mainly in Woodland Hills, California, and is of Dominican ancestry.
At age 3 entered a Montessori pre-school, and could read shortly thereafter. At age 4 Zak Astor 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 LAUSD. At age 8 was performing in public events. Zak switched to Salsa Piano at age 9 while attending Plaza de la Raza, and added Jazz Piano at 10 when he passed the audition for JazzAmerica a program that provides Jazz Master classes to highly gifted high school musicians.
From 2003-2006 Zak attended Millikan Music Academy, and then in 2004 transferred to Pacoima Middle School Performing Arts Magnet to join the LAUSD #1 middle school Jazz Band under Musical Director George Caganilla who just happened to also be the Musical Director of The USAF Jazz Band and who regularly played at The White House. There he attended after school Jazz Master classes provided by The Thelonious Monk Institute on a weekly basis and received weekly private Jazz Piano lessons at The Thelonious Monk Institute who at that time was located on the USC campus. By age 13 Zak was already performing in Salsa Nightclubs, and quickly moving up the ranks.
From 2006-2010 he attended and graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts an elite high school for the very talented only by audition only. Zak studied Jazz Piano, and Classical Voice, winning numerous awards, competitions and scholarships. At age 17 he received a call from legendary Salsa bandleader Eddie Ortiz who invited Zak to join Son Mayor considered the best Salsa band in Los Angeles, and who perform 10-15 shows a month. Zak is also the 1st Tenor at The First United Methodist Church Choir in Glendale, Ca.
Zak Astor is considered a young Master of the Salsa Piano Style and is well known for his amazing technical ability and explosive percussive style.
Zak Astor (Piano)