The Kintamarni Saxophone Quartet

Sometimes I come across interesting things on the ‘Net, and bookmark them for a later date so that I can write about them. Then when that later date comes along, I no longer remember how I even found said interesting thing.

Such is the case with today’s topic: Britain’s Kintamarni Saxophone Quartet. I happened to stumble across their website a few weeks ago, but now no longer remember how I even found them on the World Wide Web.



Left to right: Katy Rimmer, Kath Small, Ruth Darby, Sarah Field

Kintamarni is an all female sax quartet that was formed in 1996. During their 10+ year history they have performed hundreds of shows. The venues and settings have been so diverse that they’ve included: weddings, corporate functions for distinguished companies all over the UK, broadcasts on BBC television and radio, and performances at many of UK’s major concert venues. Kintamarni even performed for President Bill Clinton at Blenheim Palace.

Kintamarni offers up: “Music [that] is tailored to suit each venue and ranges from light, easy listening to works commissioned especially for the group.” Here are a couple of samples of the Kintamarni sound.

In The Mood by Joe Garland

Take 5 by Paul Desmond

You can find more on their See & Hear page.

Kintamarni’s musical work is not limited solely to musical performances however. They also do educational work with children in both mainstream and special needs schools. According to Kintamarni:

They offer several education packages, all of which present music in a fun and relaxed manner. Kintamarni make music accessible to all ages and abilities. The Quartet shows children the fun and enjoyment that can be experienced from listening to live music and participating in music making.

Kintamarni also offers educational workshops for everything from preschoolers, to section work for saxophone students in high schools.

The women who make up the Kintamarni Saxophone Quartet, are very accomplished musicians in their own right. According the the Kintamarni website, the individual player’s accomplishments and backgrounds are as follows:

Ruth Darby, who plays the soprano, “does extra work with various orchestras such as the Hallé, the Northern Sinfonia and the RLPO. She is also tutor in saxophone at the Junior RNCM, the University of Manchester and Stockport Grammar School.”

Alto saxophonist, Katy Rimmer,” is saxophone tutor at Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School and is a visiting tutor to Keele University. She is a fan of the big bands and plays regularly with Bluejuice. Katy also works regularly with children with special needs, in a music therapy setting.”

Sarah Field, tenor sax player for the group, “won both the Royal Over-Seas League competition and the Making Music award in 2000. These accolades have lead to numerous broadcasts on Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. She was the first musician to graduate from the RNCM with professional performance diplomas in both wind and brass. Sarah has performed on both trumpet and saxophone with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.”

Baritone saxophone player, Kath Small, “is in great demand playing in shows, various bands and as a teacher. She has recently finished a UK tour with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra where she was saxophone soloist in Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.”



Unfortunately the Kintamarni Saxophone Quartet’s website saw its last update some time ago. Their upcoming concerts show nothing newer then September, 2006. This makes me think that the group is currently perhaps not performing. Are they on hiatus?

My hope is that if they are not currently performing, that their hiatus is only temporary. There are very few all female saxophone bands out there, and we need more successful women in music as role models for young women coming through the school system.

Kintamarni offers a unique view of how you can succeed in not only music, but in something as obscure as the saxophone. That is a valuable lesson for both boys and girls to see and hear at an early age, since this is where our future players are going to come from.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2010, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.

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