Dr. Lee Zarate captivates audiences with a beauty in tone and virtuosic skill that is breathtaking. The born Austinite has built a lively career in Los Angeles as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, jazz, rock and fusion artist, as well as a recording artist in the television and film industry.
Lee’s knowledge of saxophone repertoire is quite extensive including classical repertoire, transcriptions, contemporary, newly composed music, jazz repertoire, as well as popular styles. She has vast experience playing in orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber ensembles, jazz ensembles, and even rock bands. As an avid supporter of new music, Lee has had solo works, chamber works, and film scores written specifically for her.
Her performances as a featured soloist have graced the stages at Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, Norris Theater, Armstrong Theater, Warner Grand Theater, and the Grand Annex. Lee has worked with such notable conductors as Mark Watters (film/television composer & conductor), Robert H. Reynolds, Sharon Lavery, Alexander Treger, Jerry Junkin, David Efron, Mitch Miller, Paula Crider, Michael Christ Powers, and Michael Ryan Armstrong.
A sought after virtuosic and versatile musician, Dr. Zarate’s talents have been featured with many different ensembles and at many music festivals and concert series in Southern California doing a variety of repertoire. She has been a featured soloist with the Song of the Angels Flute Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, New Earth Ensemble and USC’s Concert Orchestra. Lee has been recognized for her talent as a finalist at the 58th Annual Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, a semi-finalist at the 1st Annual Plowman Chamber Music Competition, and a featured artist at the 28th and 30th International Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival. Among some of her featured performances include the Culver-Palms Music Festival, OMG Global’s Summer Music Concert Series, and the Fete de la Musique Festival hosted by the Alliance Francaise of Los Angeles.
Dr. Zarate has a Doctorate in Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California where she also holds minor fields in Music Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, and Music Industry. She also received her Masters degree in Saxophone Performance from USC where she studied with saxophonist, James Rötter. USC’s Thornton School honored Lee with endowed scholarships and awards from Barry Manilow, Titi Najera de Mason, Mary Adams Balmat, Olive Juliet Hedges, the USC Wind Ensemble Award, and induction into Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Her Bachelors degree in Saxophone Performance was received from the University of Texas in Austin where she studied with renowned saxophonist, Harvey Pittel. Honors and awards include University of Texas Honors and College Scholar, University of Texas Dean's List, and induction to the Golden Key Honor Society. Dr. Raby has had the honor of performing in a master class given by renowned French saxophonist, Claude Delangle, Professor of Saxophone at the Paris Conservatory, where he praised her for her impeccable tone and lyricism.
An educator as well as a performer, Dr. Zarate has taught both privately and in higher education throughout the greater Los Angeles area. She is the full-time Professor of Commercial Music at East Los Angeles College. Being Pro Tools Expert Certified and Sibelius User Certified, she currently teaches Avid Certification courses at East Los Angeles College and AudioGraph International in Santa Monica under the guideance of Chilitos Valenzuela, Master Pro Tools instructor, author, producer and audio engineer.
Lee also has her own production company, The Music Messenger Produtions. Lee produces video content that covers all facets of the music industry, entertainment industry, beauty and fashion, culture, and more. She has worked with such talents as Lance Reddick, Floyd Mayweather, Chilitos Valenzuela, Mz. Lyndia Johnson, Jairus Mozee, Tyler Maddox, Uyanga Bold, Jeremy Erwin, Cameron Wright, Durand Bernarr, Tanisha Fordham, Jessa Calderon, Ollie Gabriel, Nicki Micheaux, Robert Milar, MF People, Derm 7, Jamie Lynn Products, MJ Harris, Black Waat3r, Lia Ali, China Marie, Seth Carr, Maiya Sykes, Porcha Lenae, Sha'Leah Nikole, Halle Johnson, and more.
Part of Lee’s performing experience also includes being a studio musician. She continues to record for television, films, radio commercials, video games, musicals, music library collections as well as album collaborations. Lee has had the luxury of recording at the famous TODD-AO soundstage, EastWest Studios (formerly Cello Studios) as well as many others in the Los Angeles area. She has expansive doubling skills and also plays the Clarinet, Flute, Armenian Duduk, Armenian Shvi, Chinese Dizi, Indian Bansuri, and the Quena flute, as well as the recorder family. Lee’s versatility includes extensive techniques on these instruments as well as the saxophone family to create unique modern audio effects for visual media recordings.
Lee is a founding member of and performs regularly with Noir Quartet.
Film & TV:
Leave of Absence
Bill Plympton's Shut Eye Hotel
Syfi's Flash Gordon
Thomas in Bloom
TLC’s A Baby Story
Tells Past, Present, and Future
The Cracker Eating Contest
Bill the Intern
Hellfire Games’ Home Tycoon
Hellfire Games’ Novus Prime
Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical
George & Martha
Sonoton's The Vibe
Gothik Serpent - Extremist
Gothik Serpent - Interloper
Presidio Brass - Rhapsody in Brass