Refreshingly original songwriters and seasoned, engaging performers, The Buskers have befriended audiences at opera houses and folk festivals, house concerts, bandstands, cafés and farmers’ markets across New England since 1993.  The trio deftly and joyfully weaves violin, mandolin, guitar, accordion, bass, keyboard, banjo, harmonica and tambourine into their arrangements, somehow fitting all their instruments comfortably onstage in even the smallest venue, and at many shows they also play with a jazz drummer.  Their influences range equally as wide as their instrumentation, but their sound is always defined by a shared respect for the crafts of songwriting and arranging and a shared love for the inventive possibilities of improvisation.

The band is based in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The three original Buskers met at an open mic in Bristol, NH.  Guitarist and singer/songwriter Paul Hubert joined in 2003, just in time to go into the studio for the band’s second album, Ray’s Vacation.  In 2007 violinist Kathy (KZ) Sommer married and moved close to her roots in Northern New York State, but there was no question of splitting up; the obvious solution was to tour more widely and more often.  The group now happily includes the Adirondacks and West in their touring range, and have since produced two more albums, Spank That Tambourine (2009) and Every Day We play A New Song (2012).

Kathy (KZ) Sommer (acoustic & electric violins, mandolin, voice) has studied with the Turtle Island String Quartet, latin jazz maestro Eddie Palmieri, national fiddlers Matt Glaser, Mark O’Connor and Jay Ungar, and mandolinist Peter Ostroushko.  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 where, when not touring with The Buskers, she plays freelance with a number of area bluegrass and jazz musicians and is a member of Northern Lights Orchestra.  She also runs an acoustic jam camp (fiddleheadscamp) with old fiddling friend Ellen Carlson (High Range Band) each September, and coached at the Pete Wernick Jam Camp in Silver Bay, NY.
Paul Hubert has added his soulful voice, versatile guitar styles, 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 artist.  His latest release, High Tide Will Come... (2012), features him on guitar, mandolin, bass, percussion, and harmonica, as well as singing and arranging in a wide variety of styles, and he has recently taken up the 5-string banjo.   Hippo Press likened his sound to “a cross between Muddy Waters, French café obsession era Iggy Pop, and Randy Newman.”  He is also a founding member of the rock band White Light and has a long-standing commitment to The Baker Valley Band, an old style wind band based in Wentworth, NH.  Starting out in the trombone chair, he now fills the responsibilities of conductor, composer and arranger for the band as well.
Multi-instrumentalist Craig Jaster (piano, bass, accordion, voice, percussion) grew up in Washington, D.C., where he began playing professionally at the age of 15.  A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, he accompanied modern dance in New York City before moving to New Hampshire, where he has gone on to play keyboards 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.   He has opened for Arturo Sandoval, Dianne Reeves, and the late great Ray Charles, and 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 Canton, NY.  Drummers emeritus include Kyle Crane (Monte Mar, Crystal Bowersox), Ted Zarras (The Chicken Wire Gang, The Countdown Quartet), Bob Woodbury (USMC Bands, The Rusty Rockstar Roadshow) and the late Barry Nelson (Annie & The Orphans).