Sounds of summer: Boston street musicians

A photo gallery of 'buskers' who fill popular spots around the city with rhythm and harmony.

Alvin Buyinza/The Christian Science Monitor
Larry Kukers strums his upright bass in the Downtown Crossing shopping area of Boston on July 30, 2018. Mr. Kukers has been playing the instrument for 23 years and claims the bass actually chose him because of how it complements his height.

In small corners across Boston, bursts of music pour into the atmosphere, drawing crowds with bright eyes and appreciative smiles. If crumpled-up dollar bills or spare change are thrown into a case or hat lying near the musicians' feet, they may notice but play on. Buskers, as they’re sometimes called, are ubiquitous but largely anonymous at popular spots across the city such as the Boston Public Garden, Faneuil Hall, and Downtown Crossing. After hours under a persistent summer sun, cultivating their prowess as a trumpet player, violinist, guitarist, or singer, the musicians become conditioned to playing in the heat. Some are full-time performers, others are simply looking for an opportunity to practice their craft before an audience. To Bostonians, they are a staple of the daily commute – from subway stations to sidewalks, the streets serve as their stage.  

Alvin Buyinza/The Christian Science Monitor

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