Airplane/Tuna great brings guitar camp to Wanee

Jack Casady will particpate in the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp on the road at the festival. Special photo

Jack Casady will particpate in the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp on the road at the festival. Special photo

Carlton Fletcher


LIVE OAK, Fla. — In 1998, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna co-founder/guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and his wife Vanessa founded the Fur Peace Ranch in southeast Ohio. It quickly became the premier center for the study of folk/roots guitar.

For the first time, Kaukonen and his fellow Airplane/Tuna bandmate, Jack Casady, will take the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp on the road to the annual Wanee Festival here.

Festival attendees will be able to participate in guitar workshops with Kaukonen, bass workshops with Casady, persussion workshops with former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and other planned events as Fur Peace takes up residence down South Friday and Saturday during the three-day Wanee Festival.

“I think this is going to be one of the great things about the Wanee Festival this year,” Casady said of taking Fur Peace Ranch on the road. “For the first time, people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to us (as music instructors) will have that opportunity.

“I think Jorma’s idea was a terrific one, and I just had an opportunity to take part (in the guitar camp) after we came off tour with Hot Tuna Electric. It was an opportunity to help musicians of all ages, but it was great for me personally, as well. When you present your craft to someone else, it snaps you in on your own (musical) world. (The guitar camp) keeps the teacher and the player sharp.”

In addition to Kaukonen and Casady, other artists who have served as instructors at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp include Warren Haynes, Tim Reynolds, Tommy Emmanuel, David Bromberg, Larry Campbell, G.E. Smith, Chris Hillman, Oteil Burbridge and Herb Pederson.

Workshops at the Wanee Festival will be limited to 25 students per session and are open to all qualified musicians. Applicants will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Students must bring their own instruments (acoustic guitar, bass or drum) to the various workshops. Bass amps will be provided.

All workshop participants must pay a $75 fee, while entry to Q&A sessions, which Kaukonen will moderate with various artists, comes with a $50 fee.