Born and Raised in Chile, Zarate came to the US at age 20. She has worked and studied in the music industry jazz studies, music therapy and ethnomusicology; has taught private saxophone Instruction as a Teaching Assistant at Howard University in Washington DC, and Ethnomusicology at University of Maryland. Has published music therapy articles in the Journal of Medicine of Chile, Journal of Pediatrics of Chile, Medical Journal of Panama, worked as music therapy intern at the New Hampshire Psychiatric Hospital, and in January of 2013 founded the 1st Latin American Music Therapy Symposium in Panama City. Has performed as a professional saxophonist with a variety of bands in diverse settings in USA, Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe and in places such as Havana Jazz Festival, San Salvador Jazz Festival, Paris Conservatory, Lincoln Center (New York), Kimmel Center (Philadelphia) and currently works as Outreach Coordinator (and is a member of the Advisory Board) for the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (at Berklee College of Music).
Zarate has studied at Berklee College of Music, New York University, University of Maryland, Howard University, and Harvard Extension School. She has presented her research about "Music as a Tool for Social Change" in USA, Latin America, and Europe.
She currently prepares to study at Harvard University for the 2015-16 academic year thanks to the Ethnomusicology Department Special Student Fellowship. She also performs as guest saxophonist in her husband's band the Danilo Perez - Panama 500 and lives in Quincy, MA with him and their 3 homeschooled children.