Distinctive songwriters who dig deep among the roots of American music, The Buskers have been performing in roadhouses, opera houses, house concerts, and concert series from Lake Ontario to the New England coast since 1993. The long-time collaborators radiate warmth, wit, and spontaneous musical combustibility at their shows, with inventive arrangements and effortless musicianship on a kitchen sinkful of instruments. Their four albums, THE BUSKERS (1999), RAY'S VACATION (2004), SPANK THAT TAMBOURINE (2009), and EVERY DAY WE PLAY A NEW SONG (2013) showcase the songwriting gifts of Paul Hubert and Craig Jaster, inspired covers from jug band to jazz to roots rock, and Kathy KZ Sommer’s genre-defying, transcendent violin and mandolin.
KATHY (KZ) SOMMER
Acoustic & Electric Violins, Mandolin, Voice
Kathy Sommer (violin, fiddle, and mandolin, vocals) is known for her tasteful and polished style, her versatility, and for playing from the heart. Her violin study began at age seven at the Eastman School of Music under Project Super, the first Suzuki program in the U.S., and classical music dominated her early training. She eventually brached out to study and play a dizzying variety of styles, inlcuding the folk, swing, bluegrass, cajun and jazz that mark The Buskers’ sound. Kathy has participated in many fiddle and dance camps; jazz camps with the Turtle Island String Quartet and latin jazz maestro Eddie Palmieri; and gypsy jazz at Django In June; and she has been coached by some of the best contemporary fiddlers. She also has her own long-running and popular music camp in New Hampshire, Fiddleheads Acoustic JamCamp. She is a resident of Northern New York State, where she performs regionally both as a solo artist and with the Kathy Sommer Project.
Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica
Paul Hubert (guitar, banjo, harmonica, vocals) hails from New York’s Hudson Valley, where most of his young life was spent up a tree, picking apples, building tree houses, or swinging from the branches in the forest. Music came at an early age, enticing him down to the ground, where he took up trombone and, soon after, the guitar. Local rock bands and a love for folk and blues music followed. A bona fide music education at Alfred University filled in the gaps, and after that he spent years on the road with the rock band White Light, songwriting, playing bass, and singing lead, logging many miles in a beat-up, green Econoline van, from Quebec down to Delaware and all points in between, leading at long last to the lovely state of New Hampshire, where he now lives. In addition to contributing much of the Buskers’ original repertoire, Paul performs over one hundred shows a year as a solo singer/songwriter, and he has recorded four solo albums, Back to the Living Room, High Tide Will Come, All Connected, and the brand new Beaucoup.
Piano, Accordion, Bass, Vocals
As a teenager in Washington, DC in the ‘70s, Craig Jaster (piano, bass, accordion, percussion, vocals) was deeply influenced by legendary indie radio station WHFS, which championed everything from funk and jazz to newgrass and folk. By age 15 he was writing songs, playing mandolin and singing in folk rock bands. In college he worked as a modern dance accompanist, which he continued in New York City until moving to New Hampshire in 1987, where he taught music, movement and theater and played in rock and dance bands. The primarily self-taught pianist went on to teach jazz piano at Plymouth State University (1999-2004), and became a sought after sideman and session player for both local and touring jazz artists. He formed the Craig Jaster Trio in 2016 with long-time drummer Tim Gilmore and bassist Brendan Dowd. He is currently based in Florence, Italy, returning to the US in the Summer to play shows with The Buskers and with his own trio and quartet. In 2019 he also worked with Washington, DC area Happenstance Theater.