Oral History Information
Kazuo Ishibashi spent over 25 years in the Special Equipment Division of JVC (Japan Victor Corporation) and headed their musical instrument engineering section. JVC marketed electronic organs and portable keyboards in Japan under the "Victron" label and exported them under the "JVC" brand. In the late 1970s, the Lowrey Organ Company and JVC entered into an agreement in which JVC manufactured a series of deluxe portable keyboards for Lowrey under the "Micro Genie" name. The popular product was an important innovation that came at the end of the organ boom. This was at the beginning of the entire portable keyboard era back in the early 80s. When JVC exited the music products business entirely, Kazu-san joined Roland Corporation at the personal invitation of Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi. Reporting directly to Mr. Kakehashi, Kazu headed Roland's Tokyo R&D facility. During his Roland years, he spent a lot of time at Roland's manufacturing plant in San Benedetto, Italy. For several years, he was also resident at Rodgers Instrument Corp. in Hillsboro, Oregon, after Mr. Kakehashi acquired Rodgers from Steinway Musical Properties in 1988.