Kakehashi, Roland founder and music pioneer, dies

SHIZUOKA, Japan — Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of electronic musical instruments maker Roland Corp., died April 1, people close to him said April 3. He was 87.

Born in 1930 in Osaka, Kakehashi opened an electronics shop in Osaka in 1954 and began pursuing electronic instruments after he was asked by a church to repairing an electronic organ. In 1972, he established Roland in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, and developed instruments including electronic pianos and synthesizers.

His contributions to the development and popularization of such instruments saw him leave his handprints and signature on the Rock Walk Hall of Fame in Hollywood in 2000.

Kakehashi also shared the Technical Grammy Award with Dave Smith in February 2013 over the development of the universal MIDI format for electronic instruments.

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