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Ryo Kawasaki

Ryo Kawasaki

Ryo Kawasaki (川崎燎, Kawasaki Ryo) (born February 25, 1947) is a pioneering jazz fusion guitarist from Tokyo, Japan. He is best known as one the first musicians to develop and popularise the fusion genre and for helping to develop the guitar synthesizer in collaboration with Roland Corporation and Korg. His album Ryo Kawasaki and the Golden Dragon Live was one of the first all digital recordings and he created the Kawasaki Synthesizer for the commodore 64. During the 60s he played with various Japanese jazz groups and also formed his own bands. In the early 70s he came to New York where he settled and worked with Gil Evans, Elvin Jones, Chico Hamilton, Ted Curson, Joanne Brackeen amongst others. In the mid-80s, Kawasaki drifted out of performing music in favour of writing music software programmes for computers. He also produced several techno dance singles, formed his own record company called Satellites Records, and later returned to jazz-fusion in 1991.