Kirk, (Rahsaan) Roland [Ronald Theodore ]
- Barry Kernfeld
(b Columbus, OH, 7 Aug 1935; d Bloomington, IN, 5 Dec 1977). Tenor saxophonist, flutist, multi-instrumentalist, and leader. The year of his birth has been widely given as 1936, but his birth certificate gives 1935 and confirms Ronald, not Roland. He was blind from the age of two. He played bugle and trumpet before taking up clarinet and C-melody saxophone, and by the time he was 15 he was working professionally as a tenor saxophonist in rhythm-and-blues bands. While still a teenager he discovered a manzello and a stritch (for illustration ...