About Me

Hugh von Kleist Saxophone, Clarinet and Flutist.

Hugh is a stylistic descendant of Lester Young and Zoot Sims, playing in the traditional style of hard swingin’ Jazz. Growing up as a young inspiring musician, Hugh was surrounded with tremendous artistic influences within his own immediate family. His eldest brother Ross, was a well-known drummer who performed with notables such as Louie Belson and Lawrence Welk. In addition, both of  Hugh's sisters Bonnie and Michelle were professional dancers.

Hugh's  musical beginnings were very short but powerful. He played trumpet in 4th grade then alto saxophone in 5th grade.  Although he greatly enjoyed music, he wouldn't play another note for 18 years while he pursued a career in baseball. After two sessions of playing in the Independent  League in 1985 and 13 years playing the game he loved he hung up his cleats for good. After working various jobs and not  knowing what career path to choose Hugh decided to join the US Navy. He had 6 wonderful years in the Navy being promoted from E-1 to E-5 in  he's first enlistment. After considering a career in the Navy, he decide in 1994 to to be Honorable discharged and  began his music career.  The very next day he rented a Bundy tenor saxophone and began lessons with San Diego's great tenor man Joe Marillo.


For  the past 23 years, I've refined my technique and musicianship while taking it upon myself to become the best bandleader/sideman like the  masters  before me have successfully confronted. The result of my labors is a string of successful performances;  leading Quintets, Quartets; Trio's;  Duo's and 6 years in the US Army 300th Reserve Band.  Some of the  notable groups as a sideman include, The Speakeasy Spies; Tom Kubis Big Band; The Swing of Things; Sylvia and the Rhythm Boys and Sylvia & The Savoy 6.



Performing, arranging, recording, producing, teaching and loving music.