Lead Guitar, Vocals
Brian has been playing guitar since the age of sixteen when he started teaching himself on his brother's Sears acoustic guitar that he painted red. Not long thereafter, he teamed up with Jesse Winters (Cosmic Shindig) to tour the talent show circuit in and around Conway Springs, Kansas.
Oblivious and undaunted they continued their musical partnership on and off during their time at KU, where they offered acoustic renditions of Dan Fogelberg and Neil Young songs to their friends and unsuspecting bar patrons.
In the 80's Brian found, in the computer and MIDI revolution, an unlimited source of expensive gadgetry which continues as a drain on his finances to this day.
Thankfully, both equipment and talent levels have risen since the early days, but Brian's guitars are still red and his passion for, and enjoyment of, music remain apparent in his vocals and guitar work in Cosmic Shindig.
Brian's favorite artists are Steely Dan, The Crusaders, The Beatles, Alison Krauss, and Chicago, with some Jeff Lorber, Tower of Power, and Earth, Wind and Fire thrown in just for the funk of it.
Keyboard, Guitar, Vocals
Jesse, aka "Shindoggie", plays keys on a Yamaha S90 made in his favorite home-away-from-home, Tokyo, Japan.
After painstakingly learning Seals and Crofts duets with Brian Watkins (Cosmic Shindig), the duo was eventually forced to acknowledge that Seals and Crofts were no longer on the charts or even playing together.
Jesse has played guitar in various Valley Youth Theatre productions and inflicted orchestral percussion on several others, including "the Wiz" and "West Side Story".
Jesse's favorite bands are Steely Dan, The Crusaders, and The Beatles. His favorite solo artists include James Taylor, Paul Simon, Sting, Elton John, Billy Joel, and the inimitable Joe Jackson. Duos Jesse likes include Simon and Garfunkel, Seals and Crofts, the Smothers Brothers, and Lieber and Stoller. His favorite trios are Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, and Crosby, Stills and Nash.
Joe has been into music as long as he can remember. That is either a very long time or his memory is shot, or both.
As well as a being a consummate bass player, Joe divides his time between his family, his bass collection and rebuilding vintage analogue synthesizers. (You know, the kind with a lot of knobs that make sounds like "zzzeeeooowww".)
Joe's musical influences range from Mott the Hoople to Montovani and everything in between.
Percussion, Sax, Flute, Recorder, Vocals
Cassi is a very versatile performer. In addition to a degree in Music, she has claimed mastery of a number of instruments including the saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano, recorder and percussion, to name a few.
As well as being a Dickens Carolers alumni, Cassi participates in a Taiko (traditional Japanese drumming) ensemble and has traveled to Japan to perform. She was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a strong appreciation for Taiko there. ;-)
Cassi, enjoys all kinds of music including bands like Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Flogging Molly, and Siouxsie and The Banshees.
Paul brings over 40 years of drumming experience to Cosmic Shindig. He had early musical experiences with violin and piano, but it was drums and percussion that truly clicked with him at age eleven.
Paul is passionate about musical collaboration and functions as the “Time Lord” for the groups in which he plays.
He is a collector of drums on a grand scale, but as Paul says, "It’s not the size that counts…it’s how you use it!" Paul is an advocate of Pearl Drums and has played them exclusively from the beginning of his percussive journey.
Paul also has a strong passion for the visual arts. He has run his own graphics design company, for more than 20 years.
Paul was heavily influenced by progressive and classic rock, but his versatility allows him to play a variety of styles.
Some of his favorite groups include Rush, Yes, Kansas, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Liquid Tension Experiment, Steely Dan, Larry Carlton, and Al Di Meola. To quote Paul, “I’m easy. I’ll play anything from John Denver to Opeth, and everything in between!”