|Birth Day:||December 23, 1940|
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He spent time in the Philippines and moved around a lot because of his father's career.
In 1962, Kaukonen moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and enrolled at the University of Santa Clara. During this time, he gave guitar lessons at Benner Music Company in San Jose. He played as a solo act in coffee houses and accompanied Janis Joplin on acoustic guitar on the historic 1964 recording known as "The Typewriter Tapes" because of the obtrusive sound of Kaukonen's first wife, Margareta, typing in the background.
Jorma married his first wife, Lena "Margareta" (née Pettersson; September 23, 1943 – December 28, 1997) in January 1964. They divorced in 1983. Jorma met his second wife, Vanessa, in Key West, Florida, on July 3, 1988. They married on December 7 of that year. He has a son, Zachary (born September 6, 1997) whose mother is Stephanie, and an adopted daughter, Izze.
In 1965, friend and former Santa Clara classmate Paul Kantner invited Kaukonen to join a rock band he was forming with Marty Balin. As a self-described country blues purist, Kaukonen was initially reluctant, but found his imagination excited by the arsenal of effects available to electric guitar, later remarking that he was "sucked in by technology." With the group still looking for a name, Kaukonen suggested the name Jefferson Airplane, inspired by an eccentric friend who had given his dog the name "Blind Lemon Jefferson Airplane." When their original bass player was fired, Kaukonen recommended his friend Jack Casady (who still lived in Washington at the time) as a replacement.
Beginning with their fifth album, America's Choice (1974), the addition of drummer Bob Steeler encouraged a rise in volume and a change of band personality —a rampaging, Cream-like rock with often quasimystical lyrics by Kaukonen. During this period, the power trio was known for its very long live sets and instrumental jamming. Hot Tuna toured vigorously throughout the 1970s in both the United States and Europe, but with Hot Tuna's break up in 1978, the first phase of the band's career ended. Casady left to form the new wave band SVT, while Kaukonen played as a solo act at venues that had been booked for Hot Tuna's cancelled 1978 tour.
In 1979, Kaukonen released his second solo album, Jorma. Later that year, he began touring with a number of bass/drum combinations (first known as "Hidden Klitz", then as "White Gland", and finally as "Vital Parts"), which initially included Hot Tuna drummer Bob Steeler. During this time, he experimented with a new image, with short, dyed hair and extensive tattoos adorning his body, back, and arms. He recorded the album Barbeque King which was released in 1980. Kaukonen's traditional fan base did not warm to this new, perceived to be "punk" image, and sales of the album were so disappointing that Jorma was soon dropped from RCA Records.
He continued playing as a solo artist throughout the 1980s at such venues as The Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia, The Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey, and in Port Chester, New York. As in his Hot Tuna days, he played very long sets, usually beginning with an hour-long acoustic set followed by a long intermission and then a two-hour electric set, sometimes accompanied by bass and drums. Having briefly reformed for a tour in 1983 that closed with a farewell show at Jonathan Swift's in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on 12/30/1983, Hot Tuna again reformed in 1986. At a 1988 Hot Tuna performance at The Fillmore, Kaukonen surprised fellow Airplane alumnus Paul Kantner, who was sitting in, with a surprise appearance by his estranged lover Grace Slick; the success of this performance helped to pave the way for a Jefferson Airplane reunion tour and record in 1989.
In 1984, Kaukonen appeared on Robert Hunter's Amagamalin Street. This was the third album released by Relix Records, a label, founded by Les Kippel, that specialized in bands from the San Francisco Bay Area. Relix also released Splashdown, featuring a rare performance by Hot Tuna on WQIV, a now-defunct radio station in New York. Kippel was instrumental in reuniting Kaukonen and Casady in 1985 for a Hot Tuna theater tour. Relix Records remained Hot Tuna's record label until 2000, and also released Classic Hot Tuna Acoustic, Classic Hot Tuna Electric, Live at Sweetwater, and Live at Sweetwater Two.
In 1985, Kaukonen performed with the band There Goes the Neighborhood with Jaco Pastorius (bass), Doug McClean (harmonica), Whitie Melvin (percussion), Ben Prevo (guitar), and Rashied Ali (congas).
In 1993, he collaborated with ex-Grateful Dead keyboardist Tom Constanten in recording numerous arrangements of "Embryonic Journey." The resulting tracks were released as Embryonic Journey, the album, in 1994 on the Relix label. In 1999, he played several gigs with Phil Lesh and Friends. In 2000, he appeared with jam band Widespread Panic during their summer tour. His 2002 album Blue Country Heart was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Epiphone released a Jorma Kaukonen signature model Riviera guitar in 2002. Kaukonen also uses and endorses the Fishman Loudbox amp.
As a member of Jefferson Airplane, Kaukonen's primary guitar was a Gibson ES-345, noted for the visible Varitone dial on the guitar and the signature 345 logo on the headstock. Kaukonen presently endorses Martin Guitars. In 2010, Martin Guitars released the Martin M-30 Jorma Kaukonen Custom Artist Edition. This guitar was designed by Kaukonen and Martin's Dick Boak, using ideas from two Martin guitars that he had previously been playing – a David Bromberg Custom Artist Edition and a prototype model that Kaukonen called an "M-5."
On August 28, 2018, St. Martin's Press published Kaukonen's autobiography, Been So Long: My Life and Music.
Jorma's grandparents were Finnish on his father's side and Russian-Jewish on his mother's.
Currently, Jorma Kaukonen is 81 years, 1 months and 3 days old. Jorma Kaukonen will celebrate 82nd birthday on a Friday 23rd of December 2022. Below we countdown to Jorma Kaukonen upcoming birthday.
Cracks In The Finish » Jorma’s 78th Birthday Message To Himself
Cracks In The Finish » Looking Back… Looking Forward… 2017