About Us

Noir Quartet was formed over a lunch back in May of 2013. Cameron and Lee went to school together at USC's Thornton School of Music and have worked together in various musical capacities, including chamber ensembles, orchestras, wind ensembles, recording sessions, and new music performances. Nicholas Casillas, a graduate of UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, merged his talents with Noir Quartet shortly after. The newest addition to the quartet, Steven Ragsdale, a graduate student at Cal-State Fullerton, joined in 2016. Together, these four saxophonists and educators blend their artistry, creating a unique and captivating ensemble. Their repertoire includes everything from Bach to Ellington, as well as standard repertoire and new music written for the saxophone quartet idiom.

Dr. Lee Worley Zarate

captivates audiences with a beauty in tone and a virtuosity that is profoundly 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 holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts and Masters degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Southern California and a Bachelors degree in Saxophone Performance from the University of Texas where she studied with renowned saxophonist, Harvey Pittel. She has been seen in performance at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall and Dorothy Chandler Pavillion and has been a featured soloist at numerous festivals and concert series. Her talents also include playing flute, clarinet, bassoon, the recorder family, and various world wind instruments. Lee’s recording work can be heard in numerous films, television projects, and even video games including Hellfire Games’ Home Tycoon, feature film Drones, and TLC’s A Baby Story. For the past several years, Lee has been teaching and sharing music at Marymount California University as Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of the Music Program where she is director of the Jazz Ensemble and teaches a wide variety of music courses.



Steven Ragsdale

is a saxophonist who actively performs in various jazz, rock, pop, and classical environments. Steven has had the opportunity to study with great musicians such as Jeff Ellwood, Charles Richard, Bill Cunliffe, Francisco Torres, Kye Palmer, George Cables, James Rӧtter, and Christopher Bartz, to name a few. He is currently a member of several ensembles performing around California, including The Bill Cunliffe BACHanalia Big Band, Eleventy, Slang, Zzaj, The MErcy Stone, The Noir Saxophone Quartet, and The Hyperion Saxophone Quartet, as well as many other side projects and studio sessions with pop artists, composers, big bands, and orchestras. Holding a B.A. in Music Education from California State University Fullerton, he is now working on a M.M. in Jazz Performance. As a teacher, he works with young students, both privately and as a clinician for various local schools including Diamond Bar High School, South Pointe Middle School, Colony High School, and Eleanor Roosevelt High School. 


Nicholas Casillas

holds bachelors and masters degrees in music from UCLA. He currently teaches at Paul Revere Middle School, Cathedral City High School and The Claremont Community School of Music. In addition he maintains a small private studio in Rancho Cucamonga with students ages 10 to 65. As a performer he is comfortable in various musicals setting. Currently he performs with The Allan Wasserman Jazz Ensemble, The Cucamonga Collective, The Westside Collective and The Swing Riots. All of these groups work closely with local composers encouraging the programming of new music in performance situations. As a proponent of new music he has premiered New Music or Arrangements by Matthew Brown, Ben Phelps, Dante De Silva, Nick De Pina, Isaac Schankler, Paul Reale, Adam Roberts, Allen Menton, Ben Stapp, Evren Edler, Josh Salsbury, Thomas Kotcheff, Miamom Miller, and Jeanette Yaryan.

Dr. Cameron Domingues

is a freelance performer and teacher specializing in saxophone and bassoon. She performs and teaches in Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire. Cameron has performed with local orchestras, in musical productions and in chamber recitals. She has worked with several chamber ensembles and has competed in the Coleman and Plowman Chamber competitions. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree, in Performance, from California State University, Fullerton, and a Masters in Music degree, in Saxophone Performance, from the University of Southern California. Cameron earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California, in Bassoon Performance. Dr. Domingues is adjunct faculty at Mount San Antonio College, Cal State Fullerton, Riverside Community College as well as maintaining a large private studio. She is also affiliated with the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, where she teaches saxophone for the symphonic band and wind ensemble.

© 2014 by Noir Quartet.

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