The Tiptons Sax Quartet

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The Tiptons Sax Quartet, previously known as The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet, is a jazz saxophone quartet from Seattle, Washington. The ensemble consists of five members (the fifth member being the quartet's drummer and percussionist). The name of the quartet was inspired by Billy Tipton, a jazz pianist and saxophonist, who upon his death was revealed to be anatomically female.[1] Formed in 1988, they have toured frequently in North America and Europe, collaborated with Pat Graney Dance Company,[2] taught workshops on improvisation and composition, and have recorded eight CDs.

Current members[edit]

The Tiptons at Bumbershoot 2008. Left to right: Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Sue Orfield, Tina Richerson
The Tiptons, December 2006. Left to right: Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio, Tina Richerson, Tobi Stone, Faith Stankevich

Former members[edit]

Billy Tipton Memorial Sax Quartet circa 1989
Marjorie de Muynck was an original member and co-founder of BTMSQ, playing and touring with BTMSQ from 1988-1995. Marjorie was a recording artist with Sounds True and Sound Universe. Her last CD was "Vibrational Healing Music" in which she composed music in her signature Earth key of Ohm, using field recorded crickets, cicadas, bees, birds and bats,and Arizona barrel cactus. Her unusual recordings include altered frequencies of each. Her other CD's include "In the Key of Earth", and "There's No Place Like Ohm", Vols 1 & 2. She studied Oriental Medicine for over 25 years, and received her Master in Music from Boston University. She was a pioneer in the field of Sound Healing, developing the Ohm Therapeutics and the Acutonics Sound Healing systems and has written two books on the subject, including an instructional DVD. She resided near Santa Fe, New Mexico for roughly 10 years, where she was working on her Doctor in Oriental Medicine, continuing her passion for field recording animals, musical composition and performing with various groups. Marjorie died on January 25, 2011, at the age of 58. Obituary for Marjorie de Muynck
John Otto, at the time named Babs Helle, is the other co-founder of BTMSQ (along with Majorie de Muynck) and played in the group from 1988-1990, a busy period of 50 performances for the quickly emerging group that established its public identity. John coined the group's name, the Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet, and was known for his rich baritone sound, snappy suits and ties, and for his witty commentary in his MC role at BTMSQ shows, thereby creating much of the public persona of the group. After leaving BTMSQ, John went on to work in the performance production field, including touring with Ani DiFranco. He has since worked professionally as a transgender activist, and currently works as a librarian and as an information specialist after obtaining his Master in Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington.
Faith joined the Tiptons in Spring, 2006, and toured with them until Fall, 2007. Faith also performs with Barbara Trentalange.
Tobi joined the Tiptons in 2002, and retired from her full-time baritone position in spring of 2007. She still sits in and records with the Tiptons. Her other projects include Reptet.
Elizabeth Pupo Walker played and toured with the Tiptons from 2003-2006. She retired when she gave birth to her daughter Maya. She has also played with Peter Buck in Tuatara.
Barbara Marino played and toured with the Tiptons from 1992-2000. She has performed with Herbie Hancock, Melissa Etheridge, and Blakey St. John.
Pam Barger was a member of the Austin band Two Nice Girls and Seattle's Pretty Mary Sunshine (A&M Records). Nona Hendryx, Michael Blaire, and Craig Ross of MCA Records are also among the artists she has recorded with.
Maya Johnson was a member of Bakra Steel Band.
Annalise is based in San Francisco, California.
An early member of the quartet and the first person to regularly fill the 2nd Alto Sax slot, Stacy played with BTMSQ from 1989 to 1991 (exact date of departure uncertain).


With Wayne Horvitz


  1. ^ Bream, Jon (January 31, 2017). "Review: Cabaret darling McKay sings/tells odd tale of jazz musician Billy Tipton". Star Tribune. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  2. ^ McNally, Owen (July 22, 1994). "Universal, Unisax". Hartford Courant. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  3. ^ Upchurch, Michael (April 30, 2010). "Seattle vocalist-musician Amy Denio juggles multiple musical beats". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Doran, Bob (November 8, 2012). "Soul Reunion". North Coast Journal. Retrieved March 2, 2019.