Meet The Rockin' Ravers


 Kevin Alexander 

      lead guitar / vocals      



Musical dues:

I was a founding father of the band Champion, while still at Mayfield High School.  I played lead guitar and sang in the band throughout the 80s.  Champion was voted the most popular band in Cleveland during that time.  We toured extensively and recorded and I had a blast living the rock and roll life!  Current Ravers’ singer, Steve, was in Champion with me for awhile.  As a side project, I play with the electric/acoustic rock band, Steel Woody.

Biggest influences:

One of the biggest influences on my musical career was my older brother, Doug.  When I was learning to play guitar in the 70s, Doug was buying albums by artists like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf, Rush, Pink Floyd, Joe Walsh and Robin Trower—all great guitar rock.  I used my brother’s album collection to teach myself how to play guitar (and when I scratched his records, he taught me how to bruise).  A cool musical moment for me happened when I was touring in the band Champion.  We played a club in Jacksonville, Florida, and Leon Wilkinson of Lynyrd Skynyrd joined me onstage as I played Free Bird (one of Doug’s old records), complete guitar solo and all!  He was a very cool guy.


What's on my iPod:

Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, my favorite band.  Anything by Stevie Ray Vaughn, my favorite guitarist.  Some Van Halen.  Some Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.


Chip Sansom

bass guitar / vocals

Musical Dues:

I started playing in bands while at Lakewood High School—an often-changing cast of characters and band names.  We had lots of fun practicing in the basement, playing many of the songs I still play today with The Ravers.  A couple of those bands actually played out, including The Born Losers, with my longtime Raver mate, Kim.  Another band I was in, The Orpheum Circuit, recorded an original song for a New York producer at Cleveland Recording Studio.  I was so nervous, I totally botched my bass part!  What a great experience, though—I even got to meet The Outsiders in the studio.  When I left for college, I retired from rock and roll.  I came out of retirement in 1981, to form The Rockin’ Ravers.  My biggest thrill was getting to open twice for a reunited version of The Byrds and spending time with one of the heroes of my youth, Gene Clark—he lived up to my expectations.  Thanks to a great group of mates over the years, The Rockin’ Ravers has ended up exceeding my wildest dreams!

Biggest Influence:

Like everyone else who saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, I dreamed of being in a rock and roll band.  But it was the great local bands I saw in school gyms, YMCAs and CYO dances that showed me my dreams could actually be achieved.  My favorite bands may have been The Beatles, Stones and The Who, but my biggest influences were Cyrus Erie, The Choir, The Tiffany Shade, Muther’s Oats, The Tree Stumps and The James Gang.

What's on my iPod:

Beatles For Sale (U.K.), The Beatles Second Album (U.S.), The Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man album, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, High Tide and Green Grass by The Rolling Stones, The Who's A Quick One/Happy Jack album, The Left Banke's Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina album, There Are But Four by The Small Faces, Big Star's Number One Record, Starting Over by Raspberries, Shake Some Action by The Flamin' Groovies, Seconds of Pleasure by Rockpile, Marshall Crenshaw's first album, Especially For You by The Smithereens, Love & Hope etc. by The BoDeans, Woodface by Crowded House, Kicking Television Live by Wilco, Saul Glennon's Triology 1, Hey Cool Kid by Cloud Nothings.


Kim Kazda

drums /percussion


Musical Dues:

I started playing drums in the fifth grade and have been playing in bands ever since.  I was even in the Lakewood High School Marching Band.  Around that time, I also played with The Born Losers, which included my longtime Ravers mate, Chip.  I almost hit the big time with a group called The Society, but left when they wanted to tour while I was still in school.  After graduating, I toured the East Coast with a rock and roll show band called Extra Heavy Duty.  Then I returned to Cleveland and played in The Stone River Band and later, The Shooters, which was a popular group.  While in The Shooters, I opened for The Ventures, whose music I have always played.  I joined up with Chip again in The Rockin’ Ravers in the mid 80s and we’ve been laying down the back beat for the band ever since.  On the side, I play in a Dixieland/gospel style group called The Elders of Jazz.  I teach drums at Westgate Music Center.


Biggest Influences:

My earliest influences were the great Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa.  Then I saw Ringo Starr on The Ed Sullivan Show and I found a new hero.  I was also drawn to the groove of Motown and the Soul music of the 60s.

What's on my iPod:

Rubber Soul and The White Album by The Beatles.  Hot House and Here Come the Noise Makers by Bruce Hornsby.  Katy Lied by Steely Dan.


Steve Koleszar

lead vocals / rhythm guitar


Musical Dues:

My first love was the drums.  In high school, I taught myself guitar and started singing.  I went through a succession of bands in the Warren area, through high school and college.  After graduating, I played drums and sang in a three-piece power trio called Triad, which led to a stint in the group Pentagon. For a period in the early 80s, I was the lead singer in the popular Cleveland band, Champion, which included my current Raver mate, Kevin.  Now, here we are together again in The Rockin’ Ravers and still rockin’!

Biggest Influences:

As a kid, I was always tapping on everything, legs bouncing.  Then I saw The Beatles on TV and watching Ringo pound the beat out, I was hooked—I had to play the drums!  The Beatles were like a part of my daily food.  I had to have my Beatles fix every day.  I, also, listened to a lot of Motown as a kid, attracted by the great beats.  My parents loved country music, so I couldn’t escape that, but it was cool because of all the early rockers who slid into that style.

What's on my iPod:

Abbey Road and Revolver by The Beatles.  Permanent Waves by Rush.  Peter Frampton Comes Alive.  I love McCartney's work with Wings and solo.  Rainbow (both the Ronnie James Dio and Joe Lynn Turner versions).  Some of the current stuff with the heavier, crunchy guitars.