Skip to main content

Japan's Ryo Kawasaki, a musician best known for his jazz-fusion guitar and synth work, has passed away at the age of 73. His daughter confirmed his passing on Monday, April 13. 

Kawasaki was a legendary guitarist and a pioneer in the world of jazz-fusion, having collaborated with many prolific artists, like Gil Evans and B.B. King. Beyond the original music he created, his work in the world of synths helped revolutionize electronic music. 

In 1979, Kawasaki created the first guitar synthesizer in collaboration with Korg and Roland for the Commodore 64, the highest-selling single computer model of all time. This innovation would open the door to a whole new realm of electronic music making, giving recording artists the ability to work as a "one man band." 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Tiesto at The City Cancun for Pollen Presents Tiesto The Trip Festival

"A Whole New Direction": Tiësto Says His New Album Will Heavily Embrace House Music

Tiësto said fans can expect a "more housey and more groovy" sound on the forthcoming album.

fred again..

Fred again.. Pushes Boundaries With New Four Tet-Assisted Single, "Jungle"

As his fall 2022 tour approaches, Fred Again.. has released a stunning single that feeds into the primal depths of his visceral approach to dance music production.

ellie goulding

Listen: Ellie Goulding Revisits Breakthrough Single "Lights" With New "Sped Up" Version

Before introducing fans to her next chapter, Goulding dug into the vault.

Additionally, Kawasaki entered the electronic music scene in the 1980s, playing techno in nightclubs throughout New York City and founding his own record label, Satellite Records. After returning to the jazz-fusion sound, Kawasaki shifted his focus to music software programming.

Kawasaki passed in his adopted hometown of Tallinn, Estonia, where he had continued performing live jazz-fusion sets up until his death last Tuesday.  

H/t: Resident Advisor



Philippe Zdar of the Iconic Cassius Has Passed Away

The French touch pioneer was 52 years old.


Legendary Synth Creator and Composer Peter Zinovieff Dead at 88

Zinovieff's synthesizers were used by Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Kraftwerk, and more.


Drum and Bass Producer Optiv Has Passed Away

Drum and Bass has lost one of its staunchest purveyors.

Gershon Kingsley

Electronic Music Pioneer Gershon Kingsley Passes Away at 97

The electronic music pioneer was responsible for songs like "Popcorn."


BREAKING: Mac Miller Has Passed Away At the Age of 26

Young rapper died of apparent drug overdose.

Tony Allen

Legendary Afrobeat Pioneer Tony Allen Dead at 79

The iconic Nigerian drummer and composer passed away in Paris today.

Bonnaroo Promo Photo

Bonnaroo Attendee Passes Away

A man was found dead at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

the prodigy

A Documentary About Legendary Electronic Outfit The Prodigy is in the Works

"The time feels right for us to tell the story of our band."