Seth Kibel, Clarinet
Seth Kibel is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier woodwind specialists, working with some of the best bands in jazz, swing, and more. Wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region, and beyond. He is the featured performer with The Kleztet, Bay Jazz Project, Music Pilgrim Trio, The Natty Beaux, and more. Winner of 28 Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies), including “Best World Music Instrumentalist” (2003-11) and “Best Jazz Instrumentalist” (2005, 2007-8, 2011-14). His most recent recording, “Clown With A Stick,” was released in May 2023 on the Azalea City Recordings record label. He’s won numerous prizes in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (MASC) including the Grand Prize in 2016 and a Gold Prize in 2022.
He is the leader, clarinetist, and composer for The Kleztet, a genre-bending klezmer band he founded in the Baltimore/Washington area. The band’s four albums (released under the name “The Alexandria Kleztet”), Peace, Love and Coffee (2009), Close Enough for Klezmer (2005), Delusions of Klezmer (2002) and Y2Klezmer (1999) are all available nationwide. All four recordings received the Washington Area Music Association’s (WAMA) award for Best World Music Recording following their release. Additionally, Seth was named “Best World Music Instrumentalist” by WAMA every year from 2003 through 2011. In 2012, he was bestowed the honor of “Emeritus” status in this category. In 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2011-14 he was also named “Best Jazz Instrumentalist.” In 2017, his song “New Waltz” took home the Grand Prize in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest, sponsored by the Songwriter’s Association of Washington (SAW).
In addition to his activities with The Kleztet, Seth has fronted a variety of swing and jazz groups, including Bay Jazz Project. In 2002, he was commissioned to write, perform, and record an original score for Dreams in the Golden Country, an original theatrical production at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In January 2004, Seth released his first jazz CD, Nuts and Bolts. His second solo album, The Great Pretender, was a blues/jazz project released in July 2007 on the Azalea City Recordings record label. His third solo record, Phonin’ It In with Seth Kibel and Bay Jazz Project, is a straight-ahead acoustic jazz record released on Azalea City Recordings in July 2011. In April 2014, he released a “Jazz for Kids” album, Jazz For People Who Are Shorter Than Me, which was named “Best Children’s Music Recording” for 2014 by the Washington Area Music Association. In 2018, he released a collection of jazz and Jewish standards, When You’re Smiling.
He can also currently be seen with the Washington/Baltimore area’s most exciting swing and jump blues band, The Natty Beaux, and Russian/Yiddish/Klezmer ensemble Music Pilgrim Trio. Seth has appeared with such notables as boogie-woogie pianist Daryl Davis, Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Percy Sledge, The Coasters, and Johnnie Johnson. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts, as well as on several European tours.