In memoriam of Ikutaro Kakehashi (1930-2017)

Notice of death of one the most impressive personalities in synthesizer history. Ikutaro Kakehashi, who died on the 1st of April 2017 at the age of 87, had an amazing life.

After completing an apprenticeship as a watch-maker, Ikutaro, who was fascinated by the American sound of the 50s, started to build home organs. Following his first company Ace Electronic, he founded ROLAND in 1972. That’s THE Roland – one of the most famous synthesizer names today.


Among the legendary Roland products are System-700, SH-101, Jupiter-8, D-50, JD-800, V-Synth, TB-303, TR-808 and TR-909 and many others. Roland made electronic music history – think of the modular systems, synthesizers, drum-computers and performance tools – and the ROLAND SOUND has shaped the last 40 years as no other company has been able to.




Kakehashi left Roland in 2013. Looking at the Roland products of the present day, his leaving the company marks a clear turning point. We can’t imagine Kakehashi would have been really happy with those dainty synths à la Boutique Series or those plastic turntables with a 909 logo.

All the more reason to commemorate him now for his life’s work, and to thank him for his tireless efforts in creating highest quality instruments.


Kakehashis memoirs “I Believe In Music” appeared in 2002. The book is still availabe (and recommended) …



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