Roland Kirk

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, born on August 7, 1935 in Columbus, Ohio, was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and bandleader. He became renowned for his exceptional talent as a blind saxophonist who could play multiple wind instruments simultaneously. His main instruments were the tenor saxophone, the stritch and the manzello - two unique saxophones that he personally modified to accommodate his innovative playing technique.

Kirk's ability to play more than one saxophone at once originated from a dream he had and he dedicated himself to making it a reality. In addition to this remarkable skill, he also mastered circular breathing techniques which allowed him to sustain notes for extended periods of time - reportedly over an hour. Inspired by a dream as well, around 1970 Kirk added "Rahsaan" to his name.

Throughout his career, Rahsaan Roland Kirk played various musical instruments including clarinets and flutes alongside his beloved saxophones. His contributions have left an indelible mark on the world of jazz music. Sadly, he passed away on December 5th, 1977 in Bloomington, Indiana due to a stroke.


Roland Kirk
Product type


Release Date

Most Relevant