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The Alexandria Kleztet: Bio

Seth Kibel - clarinet, flute, saxophones

Seth Kibel

Seth is one of the Mid-Atlantic's premier woodwind specialists. Working with some of the best bands in klezmer, jazz, swing, and more, and wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region, and beyond.

Seth has won a total of 22 Washington Area Music Awards, or Wammies, including being named Best World Music Instrumentalist for every year from 2003 through 2012. In 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 he was also named Best Jazz Instrumentalist.

In addition to his activities with The Kleztet, Seth has fronted a variety of swing and jazz groups, including The 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.

He can also currently be seen with the Washington/Baltimore area's most exciting swing and jump blues band, The Natty Beaux. Seth has appeared with such notables as 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.

Seth Kibel homepage

Helen Hausmann - violin, mandolin

Helen Hausmann

Helen joined The Alexandria Kleztet in 2004. In addition to klezmer and classical music, Helen’s talents have extended to a range of styles and instruments including roots-rock violin, back-up vocals, and mandolin. She was a Wammie nominee in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 for Best Roots Rock Instrumentalist. Classically trained, she’s played in the Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax symphonies in Virginia; the Boston Civic Symphony, and the Rome Festival Orchestra (including a concert at the Vatican). Her touring experience includes several European tours and the Semanas Musicales music festival in Frutillar, Chile with The Kleztet.

She’s shared the stage with such notables as SONiA of disappear fear, including the 2009 Kerrville Folk Festival in San Antonio, Texas; and Patty Reese, Billy Coulter, Jon Carroll and John Jennings at the 2008 Warren Zevon Tribute at Wolf Trap; among others. 

Performance venues include the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, MCI Center, Strathmore, Takoma Park Folk Festival, Washington Folk Festival, as well as NY's CBGBs. 

Her versatile playing has made her a much-sought session player in the Washington/Baltimore region. Recent recording project contributions include SONiA & disappear fear's "tango," Siobhan Quinn and Michael Bowers' “dreamers, lovers and outlaws,” “A Chanukah Feast,” an album for the DC-based charity Hungry for Music...and others.

Helen Hausmann Photography

Bob Abbott - Double bass


Bob Abbott graduated with honors from Salisbury State University where he earned his B.A. in music.  Since moving to the Baltimore-Washington in 2000 he has actively been a freelance bass player, arranger, and composer.  His performance experiences range from local community festivals to performing at national political and social events.

Bob regularly performs with Bay Jazz Project, Susan Jones, Brian Litz, Seth Kibel, Big Band Caliente, Vladimir Fridman, Don Stapleson, & Jerry Lynn.  He plays in various ensembles at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Blues Alley, Rams Head on Stage, Fredrick Festival of the Arts, Merriweather Post Pavilion, the National Gallery of Art, First Night Alexandria, First Night Annapolis, Rehoboth Jazz Fest as well as several embassies and political functions in the Baltimore / Washington D.C. area.  In 2011 he had the honor of traveling and performing in Croatia and was a guest musician and judge at the Zagreb Guitar Show.   Bob has had the privilege to perform with vocalist/historian, the late Ruby Glover, tenor sax legend Buck Hill, clinician and alto great Ron Kearns, and has recorded with NYC session player Jim Snidero.  Bob is an endorsed artist for JanAid Basses,, Acme Bass Speakers & Guardian Pro Cables.

Bob is just as home in the recording studio and has recorded with several bands and ensembles including Michael and the Little Professors, Bay Jazz Project, The Folk Heroes, Kindred Spirits, The Good News Sound, Sean Lane, Susan Jones and Seth Kibel, and independent film sound track recording for NYC composer Tim Starnes.  In addition to Bob’s career in performance he is a Middle School Choral Director for Anne Arundel County Public School.  He has been a Guest Judge for Choral and Jazz events and has been a Guest Conductor and Clinician for music events in Maryland. 

Bob Abbott homepage

Tim Jarvis - drums, percussion, melodica

Tim Jarvis

At the age of nine, Tim began studies for, and performance in, his elementary school's band and he continued to perform in school bands up through his college years. In 1970, he began teaching snare drum, professionally. Two years later, he began playing drumset and percussion for community theater productions, quickly moving up to the percussionist's chair in Burn Brae Dinner Theatre's pit band. Prior to completing studies of concert percussion, at The University of Maryland, he performed with the Annapolis Symphonies (Leon Fleischer conducting). During music studies at the university, he worked as a session musician at the Track Records Studio, in Silver Spring.

In the following decades he widened his percussion studies to include numerous areas of 'world music' percussion. In the early 1990s he travelled to New York city's, The Drummers Collective, in order to study with world-class percussionists, including among them: Frank Malabe, Bobby Sanabria, and Duduka da Fonseca. His 40 year musical career has included performances on National Public Radio and PBS, as well as local television and radio spots. He has performed everything from circus band music (Busch Gardens, Williamsburg), to country blues (Ben Andrews Blue Riders), as well as numerous popular American music genres spanning from the 1920s, through the 1990s.

Tim Jarvis on MySpace