Roland Founder Kakehashi to Receive Grammy
The Recording Academy® (www.grammy.com) announced its Special Merit Awards recipients, and this year’s honorees included Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi and Dave Smith as Technical GRAMMY® Award recipients for their contributions to the development of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology. Technical GRAMMY Award recipients are determined by vote of The Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing® Advisory Council and Chapter Committees, as well as The Academy’s Trustees. The award is presented to individuals and companies who have made contributions of outstanding technical significance to the recording field.
In 1983, Ikutaro Kakehashi, founder of Roland Corporation, and Dave Smith, president of Sequential Circuits, unveiled MIDI. Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of MIDI, a standard that motivated the cooperation of an entire industry and helped move music technology into a new era. In a nearly unprecedented collaboration between competing manufacturers, what would soon prove an inescapable new technology was born when two competing manufacturers’ electronic keyboards were connected, enabling them to “talk” to one another using a new communication standard. The announcement ultimately revolutionized the music world. Today, MIDI is ubiquitous in the musical equipment industry, and it is the de facto standard feature on virtually every electronic music product made by every manufacturer.
“Each year, The Academy has the distinct privilege of honoring those who have greatly contributed to our industry and cultural heritage, and this year we have a gifted and brilliant group of honorees,” said Neil Portnow, president/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Their exceptional accomplishments, contributions and artistry will continue to influence and inspire generations to come.”