Jorma Kaukonen, Fur Peace Ranch

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39495 St Clair Rd , Pomeroy, Ohio 45769
(740) 992-6228

As the recipient of the Rex Foundation’s 2009 Ralph J. Gleason Award, Jorma plans to use the grant to teach Appalachian kids about their musical heritage. Already a number of projects are under way. Vanessa Kaukonen tells us that one of the Ranch’s instructors, Spencer Bohren, will be taking his hour-long documentary concert “Down the Dirt Road Blues” to a school in Moreland, Kentucky. “The great thing about this approach is that we can reach over 500 kids at one time,” she says.

“‘Down the Dirt Road Blues’ follows the journey of a single song as it travels through America’s history and culture. From its pre-slavery African beginning, the song slowly transforms into Mississippi blues, Memphis dance music, a banjo tune from Appalachia, Hank Williams’ early country music, Muddy Waters’ electric Chicago blues, and finally into folk music and rock ‘n’ roll, with Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Spencer’s concurrent narrative gives students a historical context for the changes that drive the music forward.” In addition, Fur Peace is working to help provide music instruction and instruments to students through existing local programs.

“We feel we can do so much more with the grant money if we branch out,” Vanessa Kaukonen explains. “We are currently investigating the funding of music programs locally by awarding grants to local schools, community centers, workshops, and camps outside of the Fur Peace Ranch. So far, with our current approach, we anticipate reaching over 600 kids directly.”

Recent Grantee News


2010 Grantees

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Jorma Kaukonen (2009 Ralph J. Gleason Award) $10,000 Bay Area Girls Rock Camp $2,000 Blue Mountain Coalition for Youth and Families $1,500 Bridgeport School District Music Program $400 Clean Water Fund $3,000 Jerry Day $2,500 Nextcourse $2,000 Planting Justice $2,000 Preston High School $1,500 RockHouse Arts Foundation $2,000 University of Oregon – Ken Kesey Collection […]