Kaki King


It’s the 2016 A to Z Blog Challenge, so I thought I’d focus on one of my favourite subjects: Guitars.  Care to join me?

Kaki King

I told you we were in the “Girl Power” section of this month’s challenge.

What do I like about Katherine Elizabeth (“Kaki”) King? She is probably one of the most innovative players of recent times and was the only woman on Rolling Stone’s list of “The New Guitar Gods” in 2006.  She plays with a jazz-influenced, highly percussive style, treating the guitar as much like a drum as a stringed instrument.  If you were one of the few who saw the movie “August Rush,” you heard her style showcased.  I found it amusing to read one review whose chief complaint about the movie (other than it being formulaic and contrived) was that no guitarist made music like that, but I digress.

She plays fingerstyle, which means she does not use a pick at all, and incorporates flamenco-style percussion techniques, fretboard tapping, alternate tunings, and even seven string guitars.  She is one musician that I honestly believe the word “versatile” was created for. She plays different instruments from guitar to lap steel to ukulele, with a band, without a band, in collaboration, as a soloist.  She has composed for motion pictures (“August Rush”, “Into the Wild”).  One of the more innovative pieces she has created is a project titled “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body,” a multi-media work in which images are projected onto the surface of her guitar as she plays, telling a story in image and music.

She is never content to remain in one place in terms of her music.

Playing with Pink Noise (live)

The Surface Changes (from “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body”)

No True Masterpiece Will Ever Be Complete

TEDx Navesink

Bari Improv (scene from “August Rush”)

Ritual Dance (from “August Rush”)

Doing the Wrong Thing (from “Into the Wild”)


4 thoughts on “Kaki King

    • Thank you, Via. I figure it’s kind of rude to go on and on and on about music without giving some samples. Like Pavarotti said: “Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail.”


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