Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Kukkonen (aka Cuccone), Jarno (Tapio)

Kukkonen (aka Cuccone), Jarno (Tapio); guitarist, composer, educator; b. Orimattila, Finalnd, 26 July 1964. His mother is Pirjo Kukkonen (Maiden surname Laine, b. 1944)and his father is Veli-Asko Kukkonen (1932-73). His brothers are Anssi (b. 1966) and Petri (b. 1967).

While he was an infant his family moved to Villahde, near Lahti, Finland. In Lahti Kukkonen had guitar lessons from Otto Berger at age 10-15, becoming dedicated to jazz from about the age of 13, then went on the road with a restaurant band for two years (1980-82). In 1982 Kukkonen enrolled at the Sibelius-Academy in Helsinki, Finland as a classical guitar major. The Jazz Department of the Sibelius-Academy was established in 1983 and after participating in the jazz classes for one-year along the classical music studies he switched his major from classical to jazz guitar, studying the instrument with Raoul Bjorkenheim and Peter Lerche. He also studied jazz composition with Eero Koivistoinen and Jukka Linkola and classical composition with Olli Kortekangas.

Kukkonen also made several trips to U.S to study jazz with Mike Stern, Jim McNeely and Bob Mintzer. While studying, Kukkonen was active gigging as a jazz guitarist in Finland and freelancing around the Helsinki area, including TV and studio work. He received his master's Degree at the Sibelius-Academy in 1990. By this time he had become a teacher at the jazz department, teaching first guitar and ear training, and later ensemble, transcription, arranging, harmony etc. In 1993-2000 Kukkonen worked as a full time lecturer of jazz and 1995-2000 as the Head of the Jazz Department.
He begun his doctoral studies at the same institute in 1999 and his doctoral work about early rock-jazz fusion is still under way. He has remained active as a guitarist and as a composer. Besides his own groups his works have been performed by big bands and ensembles as UMO, Zone, Kulttis Big Band, Soul For Sale etc. Besides practically all major Finnish jazz venues, Kukkonen has performed in Hungary, Poland, former Yugoslavia, Austria, Spain, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Iceland, U.S.A and Japan.

He established an artist name Cuccone in 1997 and has released two CD's using this name. His current lineup is named HeCuMa and features Teemu
Mattsson on trumpet, Mikko Heleva on organ and Mika Kallio on drums. Besides local musicians Kukkonen has performed with George Russell, Phil
Woods, Billy Eckstine, Jeff Richman, Jim McNeely, Jeff Andrews, Ron McClure, Tim Hagans, Bob Belden, Andy Laverne, Andy Middleton, Rick Margitza, Dave Matthews, Jimmy Heath, Rich Perry, Bob Albanese, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone, Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen, Vince Mendoza, Helen Merrill, Joe Williams, Eartha  Kitt, Palle Mikkelborg, Lars Danielsson, Lincoln Goines, Ben Perowsky, Hermeto Pascoal, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Judy Niemack, Michael Kuttner, Rob Van Bavel, Anders Bergcrantz, Jeff Hirschfield, Michael Gibbs, Bob Moses, Claudio Fasoli, Kenny Washington, Marcello Pellitteri, Massimo Morricone, Clint Houston, Kankawa, Martial Solal, Jose Privcek, Frank Foster, Jimmy Owens, Madeline Eastman, Ed Jones, Francois Theberge and several others.

He has a daughter, Linda (b.1995) from his marriage (1992-1999) to jazz singer Taina Lehto.

Recordings:
Uni (2000); Sakura (2000)
As sideperson:
Eero Koivistoinen: Kallista on ja halvalla menee (1988); UMO: Plays the music of Koivistoinen and Linkola (1985), The First Seven (1992), Helsingin Laulu (1991), Daydreamin' (featuring Larry Coryell 1998), UMO: Electrifying Miles (featuring Tim Hagans 1998); Kulttis Workshop (1988); Markku Johansson: Tenderly (1990); Bianca Morales: The Nearness of You (1991); Taina: Same Old Dreams (1992); Big Band Suomalaisittain (1994); Viola Talvi (1990); Zone: First Definition (1999);
Jukka Gustavson: Moments (1999); Soul For Sale: Gettin' It (1999)

Radio broadcasts: (all on Finnish Radio):
Jarno Kukkonen Trio (1980)
Kulttis Big Band (1986)
X Band (1987)
Jarno Kukkonen Band (1989, 1991, 1992 and 1998)
Jarno Kukkonen Crew (1995)
Zone (1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996)
Cuccone plays Mahavishnu (2001)

Contact information:
Jarno Kukkonen
Limingantie 40 C 18
00550 Helsinki
Finland
Tel: + 358 9 777 2714
Mobile: +358 50 343 9097
email: cuccone@cuccone.com
website: http://www.cuccone.com

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