Kaki King


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Job Title
Musician, Guitarist

Kaki King first heard the Ovation Guitar being played by her father. It was one of his prized instruments and young Kaki was not allowed to play with it without him. He later gave that instrument to her, which she used in a few of her recordings and live performances as a professional musician. That guitar also was the inspiration for the Adamas 1581 Kaki King signature model Ovation. Her innovative style has only been matched by the innovative ways in which she uses the guitar in her performances, such as the Neck Is Bridge to the Body series in which she projects images and movies on her guitar while playing. Kaki has also worked with several luthiers over the years who have designed instruments just for her, including Joe Veillette in Woodstock, New York. Kaki has performed on every continent over the course of multiple world tours, and has presented her work in a variety of prestigious arts centers, including the Kennedy Center, MoMA, LACMA and The Met. She has created music for numerous film and TV soundtracks, including “August Rush” and Sean Penn's “Into the Wild”, for which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score.  In addition to her own solo work, Kaki has also collaborated with NYC-based string quartet ETHEL, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, premiering a classical piece commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. In April 2017, Kaki recorded her first full-length album with chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Berklee College of Music.