Paul Kantner founded Jefferson Airplane in 1965. The Airplane were the biggest rock group in America during the 1960s and the first San Francisco band to sign a major record deal, paving the way for other legends like Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. They headlined the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 and, like The Beatles with whom they are critically compared, lasted a mere 7 years, though their influence and impact on rock music continues well into the 21st century. In 1974 Mr. Kantner created Jefferson Starship and again enjoyed chart-topping success. Paul and Jefferson Airplane were inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, the same year as Pink Floyd.
Jefferson Starship, the name created by Kantner for his 1971 solo debut “Blows Against The Empire” recording, has endured 40 years as one of rock’s most legendary bands. That recording was the first and only to ever be nominated for literary science fiction’s Hugo Award … a stellar achievement.
Co- founder David Freiberg also started the legendary Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Fillmore era San Francisco band who often shared the bill with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. David is a world famous singer, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist. He was also a member of Jefferson Airplane, and co- wrote one of Jefferson Starship’s all-time biggest hits, “Jane” – which he performs.
Donny Baldwin became part of the San Francisco music scene in the early 70s. From 1973 to 1978 Donny was with the Elvin Bishop Band. During this time he toured and recorded six albums, which included the #1 hit single, “Fooled Around and Fell In Love”. Donny was a member of Jefferson Starship from 1981 to 1989 and rejoined in 2008. In January 1994, he joined the Jerry Garcia Band. He has toured, recorded and played with Artists such as Kenny Logins, Pablo Cruise, Chuck Berry, Van Morrison, Ronnie Montrose, Greg Allman, Heart, Lydia Pense & Cold Blood, 38 Special and Eddie Money.
Chris Smith joined Jefferson Starship in 1998, instantly winning the job of keyboardist, having toured with The Supremes and Lou Bega. Chris has gone on to place music in film and television including the #1 rated series “CSI.” In 2000 he assumed the seeming impossible task of playing piano and (synth) bass simultaneously … a feat only duplicated by the legendary Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Chris has been keyboardist longer than any in the band’s fabled history.
Cathy Richardson joined Jefferson Starship in 2008, and anchors the historic ‘role’ made famous by Grace Slick. She is an award winning music artist, graphic artist, and clothing designer. Her professional credits include fronting her own successful rock band, producing and releasing seven albums on various indie record labels. She was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Art Direction of her band’s 2003 release, “The Road to Bliss,” which also received two DIY Awards (Do It Yourself in Film, Books and Music) for Album Art of the Year and Producer of the Year. Her latest release, “Delusions of Grandeur,” topped the 2007 DIYs when she won both Album and Producer of the Year. She portrayed Janis Joplin in the original Off Broadway cast of the hit show “Love, Janis” and also in Chicago, Sag Harbor, NY, San Francisco, Phoenix and Tucson.
Jude Gold is an acclaimed lead guitarist – joining in 2012 for a 10 country, three- month international tour – replacing longtime lead player Slick Aguilar who recently underwent a liver transplant. Jude also tours with contemporary stars Miguel Migs, Stu Hamm and JGB. He is also a instructor at the acclaimed Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles.