Born in Osaka in 1930, Kakehashi first began creating drum machines under corporate moniker Ace Tone before founding Roland in 1972.
During his over four-decade tenure with Roland, Kakehashi oversaw the development of iconic drum machines and hardware including the TR-808 and TR-909. The 808 would become instrumental in shifting the sonic landscape of pop, hip-hop and dance music as we know it.
Kakehashi won a Technical Grammy Award for his work in developing MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology in 2013. His most recent book, An Age Without Samples: Originality and Creativity in the Digital World, saw release this past January. He had also authored a memoir in 2002.
Find tributes to Kakehashi from across the music world below.
RIP Legend Ikutaro Kakehashi. Founder, Roland. on his watch:— Ghostly (@ghostly) April 1, 2017
The System 700, The TB-303, The TR-808 and TR-909, Jupiter-8 & D-50, more. pic.twitter.com/NLSkDbpHzm
Farewell Ikutaro Kakehashi... your spirit will live on in every track recorded with the iconic sounds of @Roland_US 303, 808 and 909— PAUL VAN DYK (@PAULVANDYK) April 3, 2017
Rest in Peace Ikutaro Kakehashi: Roland founder and music pioneer. @Roland_US— Herman Li (@HermanLi_) April 3, 2017
R.I.P. Ikutaro Kakehashi thank u for the beautiful 808 and ur many other innovations in music! 🙏🏾 -Keyboard— KEYBOARD KID (@KeyboardKid206) April 3, 2017
Imagine there'd never bn a 808 909 101 303 etc. Wud all b stuck listening to guitars. (How many can I offend) RIP Roland's Ikutaro Kakehashi— Hudson Mohawke (@HudMo) April 1, 2017
Also founder of Ace Tone. Thanks for all the good ideas, Kakehashi-san. https://t.co/u1zywBVqfK— Yo La Tengo (@TheRealYLT) April 1, 2017
Roland. 🌌— Tiga (@Tiga) April 2, 2017