Real Name: Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr.
Born: December 23, 1940

Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. is an American folk, blues and rock guitarist born on December 23, 1940 in Washington, D.C.

Jorma Kaukonen is currently working with “Hot Tuna”.

Jorma Kaukonen was born to a Jewish American mother and Finnish American father, who were employed by the U.S. Foreign Service. Jorma Kaukonen learnt guitar while he was doing his studies in “Santa Clara University” in San Francisco and started playing backup to singer “Janis Joplin” in local clubs in the early 1960s. Jorma recorded a number of blues standard tracks with Janis Joplin which was later accompanied by Margareta Koukonen and was released as the bootleg album “The Typewriter Tape” in 1964. He was invited to play in an American rock band “Jefferson Airplane” by his old friend Paul Kantner and is known for his notable work with the band. Jorma later became one of the founding members of the band.

Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen - Hot Tuna
Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen

Jorma Kaukonen formed the blues rock band “Hot Tuna” along with bassist Jack Casady in 1969. The band members included Jorma on guitar, Marty Balin on vocal, Jack Casady on bass and Joey Covington on drums and vocals. Their debut album was all acoustic and recorded live. Hot Tuna became more popular after the dissolution of “Jefferson Airplane” in 1972 and recorded the albums along with the Airplane fiddler Papa John Creach. Hot Tuna got split up in 1978 as Casady left to form the new band “SVT”. Jorma Kaukonen continued and released his second solo album “Jorma” in 1979.

Jorma Kaukonen formed the band “Vital Parts”, which included bassist Denny DeGorio and drummer Bob Steeler and released the album “Barbeque King” in 1980 on RCA Records. The album failed to satisfy his fans and the sales of the album dropped down. Casady reunited with Kaukonen and reformed Hot Tunes in the late 1980s.

Jorma Kaukonen was named 54th greatest rock guitarist of all time and 16th greatest acoustic guitarist by “Rolling Stone”.

Some of his albums include:

  • ‘Greasy Heart’
  • ‘If You Feel’
  • ‘Hey Frederick’
  • Wooden Ships’
  • ‘Feel So Good’
  • ‘Hot Tuna’ (1970)
  • First Pull Up, Then Pull Down (1971)
  • Burgers (1972)
  • The Phosphorescent Rat (1973)
  • Quah (1974)
  • ‘America's Choice’ and ‘Yellow Fever’ (1975)
  • Hoppkorv (1976)
  • ‘The Last Interview?’ and ‘Double Dose’ (1978)
  • ‘Final Vinyl’ (1979)
  • Splashdown (1984)
  • Historic Hot Tuna (1985)
  • Pair a Dice Found (1990)
  • Live at Sweetwater (1992)
  • Live at Sweetwater 2 (1993)
  • ‘Land of Heroes’ and ‘Trimmed & Burning’ (1995)
  • ‘Classic Hot Tuna Acoustic’ and ‘Classic Hot Tuna Electric’ (1996)
  • ‘Splashdown Two’ and ‘Live in Japan’ (1997)
  •  The Best of Hot Tuna (1998)
  • And Furthurmore... (1999)