The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums

Amy Denio Alto Saxophone/Clarinet/Voice,
Jessica Lurie Soprano,Alto & Tenor Saxophone/Voice,
Sue Orfield Tenor Saxophone/Voice,
Tina Richerson Baritone Saxophone/Voice
Robert Kainar Drums/Bells/Whistles

Since 1988, the all-women Tiptons Sax Quartet have been creating unparalleled musical splendor, covering genres from micro-big band to minimalism, from bluegrass to Balkan, from gospel to whimsical jazz to nocturnal funk.

Pre-order their 14th album ‘Wabi-Sabi’ now!

Listen to the Tiptons here.

Amy Denio, Jessica Lurie, Robert Kainar, Tina Richerson, Sue Orfield

Billy Tipton was born on on December 29, 1914 as Dorothy Lucille Tipton in Oklahoma City, OK. Tipton grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.  Though not allowed to join the high school band as a female, Tipton studied piano and saxophone privately, and quickly became an accomplished musician.

In 1933 Tipton auditioned for a traveling big band. Knowing the reality of discrimination based on gender, Tipton bound their chest and dressed as a man. They were accepted into the band and toured for several months. While in the band, they became involved with the lead female singer who taught Tipton the ins-and-outs of passing as a man in public and private.

Tipton achieved a successful music career throughout the Northwestern States of America as a band leader, recording artist, radio show host and booking agent. Tipton married five times and legally adopted two sons with their final partner, hiding their gender so successfully that only two cousins and the first two partners knew that Tipton was born a woman. Only after their death in 1989 was the secret publicly revealed.

Billy Tipton followed their passion for music against all odds. In homage to this courageous person, The Tiptons Sax Quartet & Drums have passionately created their music in collaboration with artists world-wide for 30 years.

Billy Tipton circa 1950


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