- July 18, 2008
Fingerpicking guitar master Jorma Kaukonen was the featured guest artist when WKSU presented a live broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor at Blossom Music Center in June 2008. Kaukonen was a founding member in 1965 of the ground-breaking, San Francisco-based Jefferson Airplane (a 1996 inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). While still performing with the group, he formed Hot Tuna, a side-project with Jefferson Airplane bass player Jack Casady that allowed Kaukonen to focus on rootsy blues and a folk-based sound. Hot Tuna still tours and Kaukonen has produced a number of solo albums, including 2007's Stars in My Crown, released by Red House Records. The son of a State Department official, Jorma Kaukonen, Jr. was raised in Washington, DC. He traded an early love for Buddy Holly for the blues and bluegrass that he heard in clubs in the capitol city. He became more connected with the folk music crowd while he was living in New York and working an internship through Antioch College. He ended up in California forming a band, which included Casady, a musician he had first played with in high school. When not out on the road, the virtuoso guitarist and one-time Antioch student is a much in-demand instructor at his Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp that he owns and operates with his wife, Vanessa, in Southern Ohio.