Music

Jukka Tolonen

Born 16 April 1952.

Biography

Jukka Jorma Tolonen (born 16 April 1952, Helsinki) is a Finnish jazz guitarist. Tolonen became famous as guitarist for the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti (which means "president of the republic").

He had grown up playing the piano, but received his first guitar at age eleven. From 1966-67 Jukka Tolonen, at age fourteen, played guitar with Arto Sotavalta and the Rogues. Their first single, recorded in 1967, was "No Milk Today," backed by "Lady Jane." For several months in 1969 he was a member of the Eero Raittinen-Help band which eventually split up. It was then that Tolonen and drummer Vesa Aaltonen founded the group Tasavallan Presidentti with whom he toured and recorded several albums from 1969-1974. Their third album, Lambertland, reached number seven on the Finnish charts in 1972, followed by Milky Way Moses which peaked at number twelve in 1974. Tolonen also played on albums Tombstone Valentine (1970) and Fairyport (1971) by Wigwam.

His first solo album Tolonen!, recorded and released in 1971 while he was only nineteen years old, displayed his prowess on both guitar (electric and acoustic) and piano, and instrumental songwriting which comfortably segues from classical, jazz, folk, blues, and rock. Tolonen! peaked at number six on the Finnish charts in 1971, winning the Finnish Broadcasting Company's Album of the Year disk. "Windermere Avenue", a song from his 1975 Hysterica album, became a minor radio hit in Finland and in the USA. Also in 1975 he was asked to join ABBA as a session musician on tour, but he declined, due to the birth of his first child Dimitri and his concurrent solo career.

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