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The Black Satin Quintet

XU students make noise with unorthodox noise

By Sarah Weiten
On June 30, 2011

What do various locations in Colombia, Founders Day and Relay for Life have in common? They are all past venues for performances by the Black Satin Quintet, a group of jazz musicians made up entirely of Xavier students. 

Current members of the group include junior Rich Notter on the tenor saxophone, junior Joe Carriere on the piano, senior Will Washington on the trombone, sophomore Steve Kinney on the drums and freshman Anthony Notaro on the bass. The group changes a bit each year as new students come to Xavier or band alumni graduate.

All of group members are also part of the Xavier Jazz band, which sometimes provides support for the Quintet when members are unavailable.

"It's definitely a collaborative effort between the two groups," Notter said.

The group plays a variety of jazz styles, both classic and contemporary. "We play some standards, and we also do some of own arrangements of R& B songs," Notter said.

The group traveled to Colombia last year to play in several Jazz festivals. The university, concerned about the student's safety in light of unrest in Columbia, did not sanction the trip, but that did not prevent the group from traveling on their own.

"I never felt unsafe. We were actually really well taken care of- maybe since we were musicians and they love jazz over there," Notter said.

The trip was sponsored by the Colombo jazz center and the group played at several festivals and taught jazz at two schools, which was made difficult by the fact that no one in the group speaks Spanish. "They teach music a totally different way over there. It was tough but we worked it out," Notter said.

The band was in good company on their trip. "We toured there with Juilliard and Morgan State [Maryland] which was pretty awesome," Notter said.

Though there were no travel mishaps to report, the group does not plan to take another trip for some time, citing a shortage of funding.

The group currently does not have any cds out, but Notter hinted that recording time might be in the group's future.

"We were trying to raise money for studio time, but that kind of fell through. Maybe when the group stabilizes, when we get a consistent group nailed down, that will be a possibility."

For more information see the groups facebook page at


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