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The Tiptons: Tsunami (Zipa!Music)

The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet with drums and electronics, led by Amy Denio and Jessica Lurie, in their 2007 album of original compositions, joyful and compelling music that defies categorization.

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product information:

UPC: 4017867005327

Label: Zipa!Music
Catalog ID: tiptonTsuami
Squidco Product Code: 13736

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded January 17th and 18th, 2004 by Randall Dunn at Aleph Studio, Seattle, WA.


Amy Denio-alto sax, voice

Jessica Lurie-alto & tenor sax, voice

Sue Orfield-tenor sax

Tobi Stone-baritone sax

Elizabeth Pupo-Walker-percussion, electronics

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track listing:

1. Darling, Please Don´t Wake Me 5:22

2. Salvatore 3:38

3. Powerhouse 4:00

4. Calder´s Circus 6:35

5. Sleepytown 5:33

6. Sahel 5:24

7. Gypsy Wedding 3:11

8. The Pinguin 2:28

9. I Will Be Sadder 5:22

10. After Before 4:29

11. Crni Vlak 5:37
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Denio, Amy
Quintet Recordings

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Tiptons are an all-female sax quartet with percussion, based in Seattle. The group features Jessica Lurie, Amy Denio and Sue Orfield, original members and the lead composers of the internationally renowned Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (BTMSQ), as well as Tobi Stone and Elizabeth Pupo Walker. All of the members share in composing and arranging - and their dynamic repertoire includes some fabulous singing as well!

In February, 2004, they released Tsunami on their own label, and they performed 14 concerts in Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia, to much acclaim. They look forward to performing in the 2004 Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle, and have been invited back to Europe later in the year.

BTMSQ was originally founded in 1988, and chose its name to pay tribute to big band saxophonist and pianist Billy Tipton, following the postmortem 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. With a repertoire that ranges from New Orleans jump groove to hip hop, punk to East European, klezmer and beyond, the Tiptons create some of the wildest sounds ever to come out of a sax quartet. Live performances are not soon forgotten in light of the high-energy interaction between members.

As BTMSQ they received grants to travel to Tallinn, Estonia, to collaborate and record with Ne Zhdali; to compose music for sax quartet and three Metro buses; to perform and collaborate with Russian musicians at the Goodwill Arts Festival in Seattle, and to research, arrange and perform music by women instrumentalists in jazz. They worked closely with the Pat Graney Dance Company, and have shared the stage with the likes of the Indigo Girls, Wayne Horvitz, Oliver Lake, Zap Mama, Richard Thompson and Iva Bittova. The group has toured Europe eight times, playing to sold-out houses, including the North Sea Jazz Festival, the MIMI Festival in Arles, France, Horfest in Austria and Klinkende Munt Music Festival in Brussels. They have also been featured at the du Maurier Jazz Festival in Vancouver, BC, 1994 Gay Games in New York City, the Michigan Women's Music Festival, Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle, and performed concerts all over the US and Canada. The Tiptons have facilitated workshops in group composition and improvisation at the Cantiere Festival in Montepulciano, Italy, in Stainach, Austria, and at Alverno Presents, Milwaukee's National Performance Network site."

Artist Biographies:
"Denio (rhymes with 'Ohio' or 'gennaio') is an internationally recognized record producer, composer, improviser, singer and multi-instrumentalist.
Her main instruments are voice, alto saxophone, clarinet, accordion, acoustic and electric guitars, electric bass, and theremin.

Denio created and produced the soundtrack for choreographer Pat Graney's piece 'Girl Gods', which was awarded two NYC Bessie Awards at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in October 2016, including one for Best Overall Production.
In 2015 she was inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame by Earshot Jazz.
In 1997 Denio received her first NYC Bessie Award for her soundtrack to choreographer David Dorfman's piece 'Sky Down'.
She received the Mayor's Award for Artistic Achievement from the City of Seattle in 1990.

Denio co-founded The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums (1988-present).
She has recorded many CDs and videos with Bosnian metal/punk/folk group Kultur Shock since 1999. They've toured internationally since 2002.
From 2006-2009 she composed for, recorded and toured with Austrian trio Die Resonanz Stanonczi.
She co-founded Ama Trio with Correo Aereo in 2004.
You can hear Denio's limpid voice as featured vocalist on A Beautiful Western Saddle (1993) and with The Science Group in 1999.

Denio has toured solo and has collaborated and recorded with various groups and musicians such as Matt Cameron, Bill Frisell, Chris Cutler, Guy Klucevsek, Pauline Oliveros, Tarik Abouzied, Francisco Lopez, Danny Barnes, the Relache Ensemble, Faust, Fred Frith, Hoppy Kamiyama, KMFDM, Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti, and Ronin. She played alto sax in the horn section of Chuck D's Fine Arts Militia at the Experience Music Project in Seattle.

Fellowships and Residencies
Denio has been awarded Fellowships from Artist Trust (Seattle, Westport Ireland) Seattle Arts Commission (Seattle) and Civitella Ranieri (Umbertide Italy). She was Rosencranz Artist In Residence at Mills College in Oakland, CA. In 2006-2007 the Dream Community in Taipei Taiwan commissioned Denio to arrange and produce a recording of Taiwanese indigenous and pop music with Samba rhythms, performed by 25 teenagers from the Amis Tribe who played samba drums particularly well. She entitled it Naruwan: Brazil meets Taiwan.

Film Composer
Kino Lorber commissioned Denio to compose a soundtrack for 'Daughter of the Law' written, produced and starring Grace Cunard in 1921 for their Women Film Makers / Women Composers series.
Denio scored 2 animated films by Thomas Edward ~ 'Pangaea's Brood' which won 'Best Animated Film' at the 1999 NY Underground Film Festival, and 'Synchrony in Estrus' which won 'Strangest Film' at the 2003 Motion Arts Festival in California.
She scored Jamie Hook's feature film 'The Naked Proof,' which received honourable mention at its premiere in the 2003 Seattle International Film Festival, and was voted 'Best Undistributed Film' by the Village Voice (NYC).

Film Maker
Denio loves making documentary films about her voyages.
Check out the Deniaural Youtube Channel

Founding Member
She's a founding member of The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums
(formerly Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet)
Ama Trio
Tone Dogs
Pale Nudes
Lao Tse and The Entropics
and her Italian chamber/kitchen quintet Quintetto alla Busara.

President of The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums, LLC
Vice President of Seattle Composers Alliance
Board member Kultur Shock, LLC

Selected Denio Commissions and Projects:
2017 Truth Is Up For Grabs
Denio composed music for 20 piece chamber orchestra for a multi-media event inspired by current events, poetry by Pablo Neruda and the political economy of war, which included projected images created by James Drage. Funded in part by 4Culture
2016 Pat Graney Dance Company: GIRL GODS
~ Denio composed and produced the soundtrack. Girl Gods received 2 NYC Bessie Awards in October, 2016, one for overall production.
2013-2015 Tiptons Sax Quartet: Mythunderstandings
~ Produced by Denio, a collaboration between her Tiptons Sax Quartet, Salish master musician Paul 'Che oke ten' Wagner, film maker Adam Sekuler, and directed by Lisa Halpern.
2010 Dan Hurlin and Dan Froot: Who's Hungry? Santa Monica
(funded by Meet the Composer)
2009 Sonic Bench
~ Denio's interactive public art on permanent exhibit at the Vashon Island Parks Department (Funded by Seattle Arts Commission and 4Culture)
2006 The Tiptons Sax Quartet and Drums: House of Wild Dreams
~ a collaboration between artist Danijel Zezelj, film maker Aric Mayer and the Tiptons (Funded by Seattle Arts Commission)
1999 The Danubians
~ a collaboration with Csaba Hajnoczy, Gabi Kenderesi, Pavel Fajt and AD, produced in Budapest, Hungary (funded by Arts Link/CEC International Partners)
1997 False Prophets or Dang Good Guessers
~ A collaboration with the Shaking Ray Levi Society, Jessica Lurie and AD (funded by King County Arts Commission)
1996 Pollo d'Oro
~ A collaboration with Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet and Ne Zhdali. Produced in Tallinn, Estonia (funded by Arts Link/CEC International Partners)
1992 Pat Graney Dance Company: Saxhouse
~ Performed by her all-women group The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (funded by National Endowment For the Arts)
Denio has received additional support from Washington State Arts Commission, Pew Charitable Trust, Arts International, as well as composition commissions from various philanthropists.

Other commissions include creating and producing compositions and recordings for Italian National Radio, the Berkeley Symphony, The New York Festival of Song, Relache Ensemble, the Austrian chamber octet Die Knodel, choreographers Victoria Marks, Aiko Kinoshita, Li Chiao-Ping, Cheronne Wong and Carla Barragan; multi-media performance group Run/Remain Ensemble, UMO Ensemble, The Cabiri, and choreographer/actor/clown Lorenzo Pickle.

Spoot Music
Home-taper since the Dark Ages of Analog, she started her label and publishing company Spoot Music in 1986, with the release of her first cassette, No Bones. Since then, she has recorded & released over 50 cassettes, LPs, CDs and short videos, created solo and with an array of international musicians.
Listen to her newest release, The Big Embrace, released in the Fall of 2017.

Denio teaches at the Kultur Shock was the featured group at the Nilüfer Festival in Bursa Turkey, performing for more than 25,000 people."-Amy Denio Website (

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