The Tiptons cover genres from micro-big band, gospel, bluegrass, and Balkan to whimsical jazz and
nocturnal funk, and have been touring Europe and the US since 1993.
They have released 10 recordings.
Enjoy the driving force of horn splendor created by this historic all-women sax quartet!
Listen to Tiptons
"The hottest thing since sunburn."
"New Orleans “second - line” to jazz, Afro-Cuban to Balkan, Klezmer and beyond, the Tiptons create some of the wildest sounds ever to come out of a sax quartet!"
(The Seattle Stranger)
Tiptons In Concert!
La Luce Azzurra (Jessica Lurie)
Raisa (Amy Denio) - in collaboration with artist Danijel Zezelj
No.6 (Jessica Lurie)
12 Days (Sue Orfield)
Sind' (Gabriella Schiavone, arr. Denio)
Agora (Amy Denio)
Their newest CD, Strange Flower (Zipa!/Spoot Music) includes 12 songs penned by each of the players,
inspired by the lonely echo of train whistles at night, scientific findings on bees from Harper’s Magazine,
and covering genres from micro-Big Band to Gospel, Bluegrass to Balkan, Whimsical Jazz to Nocturnal
Funk. All these diverse styles are unified by the Tiptons’ solid instrumental and vocal talent, forged from
20 years of collaboration.
Based in New York, Seattle, and Eau Claire, the Tiptons perform original compositions and arrangements of
world music on saxes, clarinet, voices and drums/percussion. With concerts that cover musical territory from
New Orleans “second - line” to jazz, Afro-Cuban to Balkan, Klezmer and beyond, the Tiptons create some of
the wildest sounds ever to come out of a sax quartet. Their dynamic, playful concerts feature high-energy
interaction between members, and a repertoire that touches on soulful music from around the world.
Originally called Billy Tipton Memorial Sax Quartet, they have since shortened their name and expanded
their repertoire. BTMSQ was named in honor of big band saxophonist and pianist Billy Tipton, following
the post-mortem revelation that Tipton was actually a woman who lived as a man for more than 50 years.
Many believe that this allowed Tipton to pursue a career in the male-dominated world of jazz.
Not to be bound by convention, the Tiptons similarly do their own thing.
Their music has been featured on US National Public Radio, as well as National Radio stations in Austria,
Italy, Croatia, Germany and France. They have composed music for saxophone quartet and 3 city busses;
to research and perform compositions by women composers in Jazz; to collaborate with graphic artist and
painter Danijel Zezelj, and to collaborate with choreographer Pat Graney.
The Tiptons Sax Quartet has played at venues and music festivals worldwide including: Donauinsel Festival
(Austria), Carega Jazz Festival (Italy) TAKTLOS Festival (Switzerland); The North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands);
Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (USA); du Maurier Jazz Festival (Canada); MIMI Festival (France);
Bumbershoot Music Festival (USA); The Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival (USA); Horfest (Austria);
Klinkende Munt Music Festival (Belgium); 1994 NYC Gay Games (USA); Michigan Women's Music
Festival (USA); Jazz Festival Goerlitz (Germany); Women in Movement Festival (USA); Earshot Jazz
Festival (USA); Crossroads Music Festival (Italy); Teatro in Campo (Italy), Jazzmiele Festival (Italy);
Hallovino Festival (Switzerland); Festival Belleville (Italy); and Now Is The Time Festival (Italy).
"...a mix of oneiric rhapsodizing and jump-band scat."
Jon Garelick, The Boston Phoenix
"The quartet, with lead composers Amy Denio and Jessica Lurie, gravitates to funk and the bitter edge,
using both saxes and voices. The group's diverse experiences are embedded in the set."
"...The rich, brassy sounds of all those saxes never leaves you wanting there to be a guitar or piano; they
handle all the chores just fine by themselves, and then some. Back in the Swing Era, all party music was
driven by a lot of horns. The Tiptons Sax Quartet: Laws Of Motion makes me wonder why party
music couldn't be that way again."
Victor Aaron, Something Else! Prestige Records
"The Tiptons are one of my very favorite bands these days. Beautiful arrangements that are both funky and
swinging, amazing solos, and, increasingly, incredibly beautiful vocalizing. They range far over the map in
terms of their interests, but wherever they alight, there's something moving, strange, beautiful, and new.
No one else surprises me as much and with such stunning musicality."
Rick Moody, author of The Ice Storm
Sue Orfield Tina Richerson