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“Folk impurists” with a smart, distinct voice and a kitchen sink of influences from jug band and jazz to roots rock, “The Buskers tap the street music tradition for which they are named, then go much farther, with serious musicianship, a sense of humor, and energy to burn.” (Weirs Times). Based in New Hampshire (where they first met in 1993), they have performed at opera houses, folk festivals, house concerts, town bandstands, cafés and farmers' markets across New England and New York State. And they can also be found busking on the street, weather permitting. Their sound is defined by deep respect for the craft of songwriting and arranging and a shared love for the inventive possibilities of improvisation.
Kathy (KZ) Sommer (electric and acoustic violins, mandolin, voice) has studied with The Turtle Island Quartet, latin jazz maestro Eddie Palmieri, and national fiddlers Matt Glaser, Mark O'Connor and Jay Ungar. She lived in New Hampshire for many years, where she played and recorded with the swing band Sweet, Hot & Sassy, played for contra dances, taught violin, and gave fiddle workshops. She now lives in Northern New York State but returns to New Hampshire every September to run an acoustic jam camp (www.fiddleheadscamp.com) with fellow fiddler Ellen Carlson. The two also coach at the Pete Wernick Jam Camp in Glens Falls, NY.
Paul Hubert has added his soulful voice, versatile guitar styles, harmonica, and witty, down-home songwriting to three Buskers albums and twelve years of live shows. In addition to playing with The Buskers, he performs extensively as a solo singer/songwriter. His latest solo release, High Tide Will Come..., came out in 2012 and features him on guitar, mandolin, harmonica, bass, and percussion, as well as singing and arranging in a wide variety of styles. He is also a founding member of the rock band White Light, and he plays trombone, composes, arranges and conducts for The Baker Valley Band, an old style wind band based in Wentworth, NH.
Multi-instrumentalist Craig Jaster (keyboards, bass, accordion, percussion, voice) grew up in Washington, DC, where he began playing professionally at age 15. He accompanied modern dance in New York City before moving to New Hampshire, where he has played piano with distinguished jazz artists including Delfeayo Marsalis, Philip Hamilton, Tiger Okoshi, and the late Big Joe Burrell, as well as with many musicians on the local jazz scene, and he has recorded on sessions with many New Hampshire artists. He taught jazz piano at Plymouth State University from 1999 to 2004, and is currently performing arts department head at Sant Bani School, an independent K-12 school in Sanbornton, NH.
The Buskers tour and record with fine freelance drummers, including Tim Gilmore, who has performed with Lester Bowie, Marian McPartland, Fred Hersch and Tower of Power, and Kyle Tupper, multi-instrumentalist and singer from Potsdam, NY.