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Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland, passes away at 87

April 3, 2017 -- Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder Roland Corp., has passed away at age of 87.

Kakehashi launched Roland in Osaka, Japan in 1972 and the company went on to develop a broad range of innovative products that were embraced by musicians worldwide – with an enormous impact on popular music.

Roland and its BOSS division created a uniquely diverse product line, spanning drum machines, synthesizers, recording technology, guitar amplifiers and effects.

Many of the most important tools in the modern musician’s arsenal are attributable to the engineering and technical mastery of Kakehashi’s company. The iconic Roland JC-120 guitar amp, BOSS SD-1 distortion pedal, Roland Juno 106 sythesizer, and Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines are just a few of the products that attest to Kakehashi’s enduring legacy .

Among his many honors, Kakehashi was awarded a Technical Grammy Award in 2013 for Roland’s role in developing MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) – a technical standard that was adopted industry-wide, enabling synthesizers and electronic instruments to communicate and synchronize, ushering in a broader use of sequencing / composition in musical performances and recordings.