Klezmer Ensemble

Contact Information:
Beverly: 603-941-4947

Shana: 603-539-1967

About Seth

Seth Austen is a nationally recognized acoustic multi-instrumentalist, composing, playing, recording and teaching diverse styles from traditional Appalachian, Celtic and New England contradance music to eastern European Klezmer, Balkan, Nordic, bottleneck blues and jazz. Seth has been particularly involved in many American roots styles for 25 years and plays a wide array of stringed instruments. Seth is descended from numerous musicians and cantors, both from eastern Europe and Philadelphia and New York, including the internationally acclaimed cantor Gershon Sirota.

Seth has composed music for film documentaries, To Our Credit: Bootstrap Banking In America and the World, aired on PBS, and Farmer To Farmer: Strategies For Sustainable Agriculture (Rodale Institute) and various radio documentaries. You've likely heard Seth’s music between news segments on NPR’s Morning Edition. Seth's composition The Computer Is Down is the theme music for The Computer Guys, a monthly call-in show about computers on WAMU-FM in Washington D.C.

Two of Seth's compositions, Klezmer Polska and Blues for Hardingfele were selected by The Hardanger Fiddle Association of America (HFAA) for inclusion in the first AmerikaSlattar Concert at AmeriKappleik, held in Stoughton, WI, and Northfield, MN, July 22-27 2003.

Seth's composition, Windy Skies, was the Second Place Winner of the First Annual Fiddle Tune Composition Contest sponsored by the Nebraska Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. The winning compositions were performed at the Monumental Fiddling Championship, and will be printed in Stringing Along, the quarterly journal of the Nebraska Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Seth has produced and/or engineered, as well as played on over 30 recordings by other acoustic artists. Three of the recordings that Seth produced have received Indie Awards from the National Association of Independent Record Producers (NAIRD), and another recording won a bronze award from CMA 2000. Seth is available to produce a limited number of recording projects each year.

Seth has written two guitar books for Mel Bay Publications; Bottlenecking Blues and Beyond, and Fingerstyle Guitar Collection and is also featured in Mel Bay anthologies; Deluxe Anthology of O'Carolan, Fingerstyle 2000 and Mandolin 2000. Seth is currently writing more books for guitar and mandolin.

Seth has co-taught seminars with players including Martin Simpson, John Renbourn, Alex deGrassi, Ed Gerhard and Don Ross at the National Guitar Workshop in New Milford, CT since its' inception in 1984 and has also taught at various other workshops and festivals nationwide. Seth is a gifted music teacher with over 25 years experience and hundreds of satisfied students and will work with dedicated players of any level either individually or in groups.

In 1981, Seth was a triple winner at the prestigious Walnut Valley National Flatpicking Championships, Winfield, KS, placing in fingerstyle guitar, mandolin and fretted dulcimer categories.


Seth Austen Solo Recordings

Turquoise Records, 1993
Desert Winds Turquoise Records, 1990
Circles Kicking Mule Records, 1987 (out of print)
Christmas Day in the Morning Kicking Mule Records, 1985 (out of print)
Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Fingerstyle Guitar Kicking Mule Records, 1983 (out of print)
Road O'er the Rainbow Banish Misfortune Records, 1981 (out of print)
Southwinds self released (out of print)

Book/CD combinations

Bottlenecking Blues and Beyond
Mel Bay Publications, 1999
Fingerstyle Collection Mel Bay Publications

Featured artist in Book/CD anthologies

2000 Fingerpicking
Mel Bay Publications, 2000
2000 Mandolin
Mel Bay Publications, 2000
Deluxe Anthology of O'Carolan Music
Mel Bay Publications, 1995
Music of O'Carolan
Mel Bay Publications, 1995

Other Recordings
I've been involved in as:
P - producer, E - engineer, M - session musician

Seth Austen, Skip Gorman, Peter Ostroushko, David Surrette, March Mandolin Festival 2006, M
Skip Gorman Mandolin in the Cow Camp Old West 2005, M
Doug Hazard If Not For Pretty Women 3 Lb Hammer Records 2005, M
Fraidy Katz The Eternal Question: Di Alte Kashe 2006, M
Simple Gifts Crossing Borders, 2005, PM
Patricia Stebbins Sager Heroes and Friends, 2005, PM
Eric Eid-Reiner Grand Tour, 2005, E
Mark Searcy Like Father, Like Son,feature's Seth's composition Tikkun, 2005
AmeriKappleik Live - A Hardanger Fiddle Celebration, features Seth's Blues for Hardingfele. 2004
Bill Morrissey The Essential Bill Morrissey, Rounder Records 2004, M
Wolf Krakowski Goyrl-Destiny Tzadik 2002, M
Madeline MacNeil As Time Goes By Roots & Branches Music, 2000, M
Bonnie Leigh Bridge of Flowers, 2000, E
Simple Gifts Time and Again Purple Finch Productions, 1999, PM
Chris Pederson Cold Iron Wire 1998 E
Scot Maywalt Stormy Afternoon's Mantra 1997, EM
Sam Moffatt Gift From The River Here and Now Music, 1997 PEM
David Neiman and Beverly Woods Balance on Air Dulcimusic Productions, 1997 PEM
Simple Gifts Other Places, Other Times Purple Finch Productions, 1996 PEM
Madeline MacNeil The Crowning of the Year Roots and Branches Music, 1996 PEM
Carrie Crompton and Barolk Folk Bach Dances Barolk Folk Music, 1996 PM
Allen Dec Emilia’s Dream Ariel’s Workshop, 1995 PE
Madeline MacNeil All Through The Night Roots and Branches Music, 1995 PEM
Desperate Measures Sleep Death Television Noibn Records, 1994 PEM
Madeline MacNeil Lone Wild Bird Roots & Branches Music, 1993 PM
Nicholas Blanton and Compagnie Barbaroque Pas d'Été (Summer Steps) 1993 PM
Michael Fitzgerald Planet Dreams Falling Mountain Records, 1992 PM
Sam Rizzetta In the Garden Flying Clouds Music, 1992 M
Madeline MacNeil A Place Apart Turquoise Records, 1991 PM
Tabby Finch & Seth Austen When the Snow Lay 'Round About Finch Music, 1991 PM
The Barolk Folk Girls and Boys Come Out to Play Music for Little People, 1991 PM
Tabby Finch Cloud Cover Finch Music, 1990 PM
Nicholas Blanton Ways Upon Bells Gourd Music, 1990 PM
Madeline MacNeil Heart's Ease Turquoise Records, 1989 PM
The Barolk Folk Come, Let Us Be Merry Barolk Folk Music, 1989 PM
Kimberly Hall Where Has the Love Gone? 1989 PM
Madeline MacNeil Christmas Comes Anew Kicking Mule Records, 1987 PM
Madeline MacNeil Soon It's Going to Rain Kicking Mule Records, 1985 PM
Madeline MacNeil The Holly and the Ivy Kicking Mule Records, 1983 M
Fred Meyer Who's Yer Boy Midwest Coast Records, 1983 M
Ruth Barrett & Cyntia Smith Music of the Rolling World Aeolus Music, 1982 M
Lois Hornbostel Vive le Dulcimer! Kicking Mule Records, 1982 PM
Rick Fogel and Mick Doherty Old Hat 1981 M

Anthology Recordings

Anthology NGSW Sampler 1993 Volume 1 Huppy Records, 1993 M
Anthology The Music of Turlough O'Carolan Shanachie Records, 1987 M
Anthology Silently the Snow Falls Shanachie Records, 1986 M

Documentary Soundtracks; Composer, Producer, musician

Soundtrack To Our Credit: Bootstrap Banking in America and the World Kane-Lewis Productions and Rooy Media, Aired on PBS in October, 1998
Soundtrack Farmer to Farmer: Strategies for Sustainable Agriculture (six-volume series) Rooy Media and the Rodale Institute, 1991
Soundtrack Ishmael's Grief Produced by Jim Surkamp
Soundtrack Birth of Wonder Produced by Jim Surkamp
Soundtrack The Spirit Lives Produced by Jim Surkamp
Soundtrack The Hidden Words Produced by Jim Surkamp & Ardyth Gilbertson
Soundtrack for radio and video Act in the Living Present, The life of Martin Delany Produced by Jim Surkamp
Soundtrack Don't Mean Nothin' Produced by Jim Surkamp, broadcast 1999
Soundtrack American Genius: James Rumsey Produced by Jim Surkamp
Soundtrack Sugarloaf Produced by Cris Haugh, 2000


Bronze Award, Third place, Acoustic Instrumental category
Simple Gifts Time And Again CMA Crossroads 2000

Gold Medal Award
The Barolk Folk Girls and Boys Come Out to Play Music for Little People
Parents Magazine, 1991

Indie Award/First Place/Stringed Music
Madeline MacNeil Heart's Ease Turquoise Records
National Association of Independent Record Distributors, 1990

Indie Award/Honorable Mention/Seasonal Music
The Barolk Folk Come, Let Us Be Merry Barolk Folk Music
National Association of Independent Record Distributors, 1990

Indie Award/Finalist/Seasonal Music
Madeline MacNeil Christmas Comes Anew Kicking Mule Records
National Association of Independent Record Distributors, 1987

Indie Award/Finalist/World Music
Lois Hornbostel Vive le Dulcimer! Kicking Mule Records
National Association of Independent Record Distributors, 1982