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Craig Chaquico (born September 25, 1954) is an American guitarist from Sacramento, California who has had over thirty years of success in a variety of genres: in the 1970s with the post-Summer of Love Jefferson Starship, in that band's 1980s incarnation, Starship, and in the 1990s and 2000s as a smooth jazz and new age solo artist. He has sold over 1 million records worldwide.
Chaquico began playing the guitar as a young boy and by the age of 14 was playing professionally in nightclubs. Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane saw him play as a 16-year-old, and invited Chaquico to join him for a series of recording sessions and concerts. During this period members of the Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Crosby, Stills and Nash often appeared together in concerts and recordings, and Chaquico played alongside a number of legendary musicians including Jerry Garcia, David Crosby, Wikipedia:David Freiberg and Carlos Santana. His first recording was with Kantner and Grace Slick in 1971 on their Sunfighter duo album.
After informally joining the newly-renamed Jefferson Starship he expected to go back to school after one tour. Instead, Grace Slick and Kantner approached him in 1974 and asked if he wanted to join the band permanently. He jumped at the chance.
Chaquico remained with the band when Kantner left and the band morphed into Starship. Many people remember his guitar riffs from We Built This City, as well as his flowing long brown hair in the accompanying video. He co-wrote one of Starship's most memorable songs, "Find Your Way Back' from 1981's under-rated "Modern Times" LP. A smooth jazz version of this same tune also appears on Chaquico's 1994 solo CD "Acoustic Planet".
When Starship broke up, Chaquico formed Big Bad Wolf, a hard rock band continuing in the same vein as Starship. The group recorded one album, entitled 'Big Bad wolf' before disbanding. He then forged a new career as a Smooth Jazz/New Age guitarist. He has collaborated with Ozzie Ahlers for his ten solo albums since 1993. The most famous of all is his second album, 1994's Acoustic Planet. This album garnered Chaquico a Grammy Nomination for Best New Age album. Since then Chaquico has cemented his standing as one of the top-selling Smooth Jazz/New Age artists.
In addition to his work with the various incarnations of Jefferson Starship, he also has worked regularly for the last 25 years as a studio musician with a wide range of artists, including Commander Cody, Mickey Thomas and Tom Scott.
With Paul Kantner and/or Grace Slick (as Lead Guitarist)Edit
- Sunfighter (Kantner & Slick) (1971)
- Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun (Kantner, Slick, Freiberg) (1973)
- Manhole (Grace Slick) (1974)
- Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra (Paul Kantner) (1983)
With Jefferson Starship (as Lead Guitarist)Edit
- Dragon Fly (1974)
- Red Octopus (1975)
- Spitfire (1976)
- Earth (1978)
- Gold (1980)
- Freedom at Point Zero (1980)
- Modern Times (1981)
- Winds of Change (1983)
- Nuclear Furniture (1984)
With Starship (as Lead Guitarist)Edit
- Knee Deep in the Hoopla (1985)
- No Protection (1987)
- Love Among the Cannibals (1989)
- Greatest Hits
- The Best of Starship (1993)
As solo ArtistEdit
- Acoustic Highway (1993)
- Acoustic Planet (1994)
- A Thousand Pictures (1996)
- Once in a Blue Universe (1997)
- Wikipedia:From the Redwoods to the Rockies (with Russ Freeman (1997)
- Four Corners (1999)
- Panorama: The Best of Craig Chaquico (2000)
- Shadow and Light (2002)
- Midnight Noon (2004)
- Holiday (2005), Christmas music
- Child of Nature Jack Traylor & Steelwind (1973)
- Rock 'n Roll Again Commander Cody (1977)
- Alive Alone Mickey Thomas (1981)
- Gregg Rolie Gregg Rolie (of Santana and Journey) (1985)
- Only a Moment Away Joan Burton (1993)
- 3rd Force 3rd Force (1994)
- KKSF 103.7 FM Sampler for AIDS Relief (Vol. 5, 1994)
- Harley Davidson Road Songs (1994)
- Force of Nature 3rd Force (1995)
- Apurimac III: Nature Spirit Pride Cusco (1997)
- Vital Force 3rd Force (1997)
- KKSF 103.7 FM Sampler for AIDS Relief (Vol. 9, 1998)
- Force Field 3rd Force (1999)
- KKSF 103.7 FM Sampler for AIDS Relief (Vol. 11, 2000)
- New Found Freedom Tom Scott (2002)
- Gentle Force 3rd Force (2002)