Rory Kaplan: Keyboardist To The Megastars; Episode 9

Singing - The Singer's Edge: Talk About Singing show

Summary: Born in Los Angeles, California, Rory Steven Kaplan was influenced by the arts from the start – his father was a still life painter and his mother an accomplished pianist. At the young and impressionable age of nine, Rory first heard the record that forever changed and shaped the direction of his life: Meet the Beatles. Not long after, his parents bought him a guitar and his musical career was launched. In his early teens, Rory shifted his focus to keyboards after being exposed to Walter Carlos’ groundbreaking album Switched On Bach, which introduced the Moog synthesizer to the world. Rory was offered his first U.S. tour at the age of seventeen, accompanying singer Dennis Dean. At the end of the tour, Chick Corea was so impressed with the talents of the burgeoning young musician that he hired Rory to serve as his chief synthesizer programmer and technician. After several years with Corea, Rory went on to work with jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, and Stanley Clarke, even doing a short Japanese tour with guitarist Jeff Beck. Kaplan next began working for Fairlight Music Computer, an Australian company that manufactured the first digital sampling instrument. Rory was then asked by manager Frank Dileo to put a band together for Michael Jackson’s first-ever solo tour, the “Bad Tour” – a journey that would take Kaplan literally around the world and would last over a year and a half. Following the conclusion of that tour, Rory returned to the recording studio, programming and performing with internationally renowned artists such as Jon Anderson, Yes, Joe Cocker, Four Non Blondes, and the Yellow Jackets, culminating in a co-production credit on Edgar Winter’s album The Real Deal. In 1996, Rory was hired by Digital Theater Systems (DTS) to serve as executive producer and head of artist relations for a new record label intended to introduce multi-channel audio to both the music industry and consumer. During his eight-year tenure with the company, Kaplan executive-produced over 180 multi-channel CDs and DVD-Audio discs for a staggering array of top artists, including Sting, the Eagles, Queen, Steely Dan, Bonnie Raitt, Brian Wilson, Diana Krall, The London Symphony, and Vince Gill. In 2003 Rory formed his own independent company, Rory Kaplan Productions, Inc. through which he continues to pioneer the development of exciting new products and technologies. “My goal is to bridge existing gaps and bring together the right people, technology and artists to ensure that the end result is one of integrity, one which displays true artistic craft in all aspects and on all levels,” Kaplan says. “Despite the proliferation of new technologies and formats, I am confident that art and commerce will once again find balance, and that recording and delivery will be forever changed for the better.”