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Jorma Kaukonen

"Jorma Kaukonen" (born Jorma Ludwik Kaukonen Jr. on December 23, 1940 in Washington, D.C.) is an American blues, folk and rock guitarist. Born to a Finnish American father and a Jewish American mother, Kaukonen was a founding member of the popular psychedelic San Francisco-based band Jefferson Airplane, which scored two Top 10 radio hits in 1967 with "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit."

A self-described blues purist, Kaukonen never had any ambition to play in a rock band. Under the name Jerry Kaukonen, he had been playing as a solo act in coffee houses since 1964, and he can be heard accompanying a young Janis Joplin on acoustic guitar on an historic 1964 recording known as "The Typewriter Tapes" because of the obtrusive sound of Kaukonen's first wife Margareta typing in the background. Invited to attend a Jefferson Airplane rehearsal by founding member Paul Kantner, Kaukonen found his imagination excited by the arsenal of effects available to electric guitar and later said, "I was sucked in by technology." The rest is history.

Kaukonen's electric guitar work was distinctive and widely emulated by other Bay Area guitarists, including Barry Melton (who is said to have...

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