Photo Credit: Bill Kelly

Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and his wife Vanessa have announced that they will close their Ohio-based Fur Peace Ranch music instruction camp. In a statement the couple said:

In 1989, we envisioned creating a place where students could come to learn guitar from Jorma. Little did we know how this idea would evolve. What started as a physical place has become a state of being—a mindset and a sense of belonging for everyone involved, including us.

In the early days of Fur Peace, we often referenced the movie “Field of Dreams.” Much like in the film, we have had one constant throughout the years: music. Despite the world’s changes, music has always been there, marking the passage of time. It’s the feelings that touch you and the memories you recall as you immerse yourself in this music camp in the hills of southeast Ohio. Our students and guests, both young and old, found themselves grinning from ear to ear as they stepped onto this magical land in Darwin, Ohio. That’s the essence of Fur Peace Ranch.

Over the years, we have welcomed thousands of onsite and offsite students in locations like Maui, Desert Hot Springs, and Upstate New York. We have hosted and promoted hundreds of shows, celebrated local artists with annual art festivals, and provided a unique location for countless organizations’ functions. None of this would have been possible without the key staff members who have been with us from the beginning and our current employees, whom we call the Fur Peace family.

Post-COVID, we adjusted our programming boundaries. Our classes transitioned to a permanent virtual format, opening opportunities to venture out to other locations nationwide. San Diego, Martha’s Vineyard, and Sanibel are just a few new places where we’ve hosted guitar workshops. The future of Fur Peace Ranch workshops will carry the same magic created at our original flagship location.

Looking ahead, the Fur Peace organization will become Fur Peace Productions, based in Athens County, Ohio. We will continue our “On The Road Workshops” and promote music events. Fur Peace Management will continue to represent Jorma and Hot Tuna, with the possibility of expanding our roster of artists.

On a personal note, we are excited to announce that the property’s new owner, is launching a new venture called the Lavender Ranch. Lavender Ranch’s mission is to enrich lives through personalized retreats, educational workshops, and community-focused events, all rooted in sustainability and the arts. You can read more about it at coming soon.

Passing the property to the new owner, who will continue with their vision, and seeing our daughter embark on her college journey marks a significant paradigm shift in our lives. We are ready for it. The universe has guided us to where we stand now, and we embrace the exciting prospects ahead.

Our vibe travels well and the magic goes on. ❤️
Blessings and Respect,
Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen

The 84-year-old Kaukonen, who is also an original member of Jefferson Airplane, retired from touring with the electric version of Hot Tuna last year. He continues to perform acoustic music, both with Hot Tuna and on his own.