Performer Bios

California native Ted Allen spent his youth enthusiastically participating in choirs, marching bands and rock bands at high school in Newport Beach and at Pomona College. After completing a masters degree in composition at the Yale School of Music, he worked in the music business in New York City as a composer, arranger and copyist for a diverse clientele that included both the New York City Ballet and Metallica, for whom he orchestrated "Devil Dance" and "Human" for their platinum selling project with the San Francisco Symphony. He is currently in the fifteenth year of his “second career,” teaching high school bands and orchestras. His music has been performed by the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Mitch Leigh Big Band, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine Wind Band, Big O: the Big Band of Oakland Public School Music Teachers, San Francisco Choral Artists, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the San Jose Choral Project, the New Jersey All State Chorus and numerous high school ensembles. Many of his compositions reflect his California upbringing in their invocation of western musical traditions and history, particularly the violin solos;  “Cattle Ranch Moon” and "Vulture in the Canyon" and the vocal works; "Western Meadowlark,” and “Coyote Song/¡Ay Susanita!” His music is published by Walton Music and Grand Mesa Music.  

Zack Pitt-Smith’s musical efforts began on a child’s drum set at the age of 6 and later on the saxophone at age 11. Zack studied at Eastman School of Music, Berklee College of Music and he holds a degree in Ethnomusicology from Brown University. He has toured in Europe, South Africa, the former Soviet Union, Nicaragua and Brazil. He has shared the stage with Jovino Santos, Harvey Wainapel, Marcos Silva, Gene Harris, Slide Hampton, Howard Johnson, James Williams, Henry Kaiser, and Denise Perrier. Currently, Zack performs in the San Francisco Bay Area most frequently with his Brazilian instrumental choro ensemble Grupo Falso Baiano.  He is currently a music director at Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, CA.

Daniel Andrade began his musical pursuits at the age of 9 when a music teacher named Mr. Brahms came to teach at his elementary school (no…not that Brahms). Daniel began studying the trumpet and received additional private instruction from his father, professional trombonist, arranger and composer Ernest Andrade. After graduating from Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in music, Daniel began performing professionally with his jazz ensemble, East Bay Jazz Express. Daniel recently received his master’s degree in music education from California State University, East Bay and is currently a member of the Big O Jazz Orchestra. He is also co-director of the MUSE VIVO Orchestra and music director at Roosevelt Middle School in Oakland, CA.

Sean Michael Norris is a Bay Area based saxophonist/reed player with roots in the East Bay  He is a product of the OUSD music program and went on to study/perform music at the collegiate level under the tutelage and direction of Dave Eshelman, Timothy Smith, and Dann Zinn at California State University East Bay (formerly Hayward).  He has performed in numerous groups, in numerous styles, and various venues, most recently opening for the likes of legendary world music groups such as Hiroshima and Third World.

Isaac Schwartz is an accomplished musician and educator in the Bay Area. Though he grew up loving and learning the language of jazz he has applied his musicianship to many different styles and groups, including rock, hip hop, metal, funk, fusion, and much more. He has gotten to play notable venues throughout his career including the DNA Lounge, the Mezzanine, Piedmont Piano Company, The Jazzschool, Jupiter, and much more.

Sam Schwartz is a Bay Area session musician and educator with experience playing and writing in a wide array of musical styles, from bluegrass to gospel to metal. His credits include scoring promotional videos for local artists, writing campaign music for the current Mayor of Oakland, and recording and playing with Rappin 4Tay. After teaching and developing Garageband courses for summer camps and elementary and middle schools around the East Bay, Sam has found a happy home at Ubisoft's SF studio amongst the Notetrackers as part of the Rocksmith team!