The Back of the Bus is an exhilarating new Boston-area band featuring some of the Northeast's leading performers of traditional Irish music. Emerging from Boston's world-famous traditional Irish music scene, Cara Frankowicz, Andy Collins, and James Hamilton have combined their talents to create one of the most exiting new folk music acts on the East Coast. They have been playing together for two years, and in that time they have brought together a wide range of musical influences and experiences to create a dynamic presentation of the traditional music of Ireland. The band members have performed around the country and in Ireland, and shared the stage with many of North America and Europe's top traditional performers before coming together and getting on The Bus together. This year they will be headlining Boston's own BCMFest.


Andy Collins

Hailing from Cohasset, Massachusetts Andy Collins has been a regular at Boston area sessions for the last four years. Although raised in a household constantly abuzz with Irish music he only recently began playing in the Irish idiom and has fast become an integral part of the Boston Irish music scene. The ten years of playing prior to learning Irish music made the transition to backing Irish music that much easier. He brings strong rhythms to drive the tunes and draws inspiration from a wide variety of genres.


Cara Frankowicz

Classically trained since age seven, Cara discovered traditional Irish music while visiting Ireland as a teenager. She soon returned to live in Ireland, where she cut her teeth among the local musicians in Galway. She later returned to the U.S. to study at Berklee College of Music, and graduated in 2006 with a BM in violin performance.

Cara has appeared all over the U.S. and Europe as a violinist and fiddle player, including concert dates and teaching engagements in Europe and North America. She has appeared as a featured guest with artists such as the Three Irish Tenors, The Chieftains, Mustang Sally, and Ceili Rain, and she performs annually at the Philadelphia Irish Festival and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. Her playing has also been featured on numerous radio shows, including "The Folk Show" on WXPN Philadelphia and on WUMB Boston. Cara is an active part of the Irish traditional music scene in Boston as a teacher, session leader and performer.


James Hamilton

James Hamilton was born and raised in Tustin, California, and began playing traditional Irish music in middle school. Since then, he has performed, taught, and competed across the United States and Ireland, at venues including many of the largest festivals and top folk clubs in North America. Since moving to Boston four years ago, he has become an integral of the local traditional music scene. He was recently featured as a backing artist for renowned folk singer Robbie O'Connell, and as part of the Aoife Clancy Band.