Kaki King combines jaw-dropping guitar work with dreamy, searching songwriting.

Why you should listen

Kaki King's percussive technique (guitar geeks compare it to Preston Reed's; everyone else compares it to Eddie Van Halen's) drives her songs forward, while layers of overdubs and her own soft vocals create a shimmering cloud of sound.

King's work on the soundtrack for 2007's Into the Wild was nominated for a Golden Globe, along with contributors Michael Brook and Eddie Vedder. Her groundbreaking multimedia work The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body uses projection mapping to present the guitar as an ontological tabula rasa in a creation myth unlike any other.

What others say

“King's focused intensity summons up a kind of kinetic power and passion that can stop surprised, slack-jawed onlookers in their tracks.” — Acoustic Guitar

Kaki King’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Kaki King

Live from TEDWomen

Women at war, women as friends: The talks in Session 6 of TEDWomen 2015

May 29, 2015

What is an idea, really, if you keep it to yourself? No, ideas are meant to be shared. In this session, stories of connection — from Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, who have been friends since 9 to 5, to Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols, a couple who traveled around the world documenting the lives of “supergays.” Short recaps of […]

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Q&A with Kaki King: The evolution of a guitarist

May 29, 2009

In 2008, Kaki King charmed and impressed the TED community with her melodic and exuberant style of guitar-playing. Yesterday, TED’s Media Production Specialist Angela Cheng spoke with Kaki over the phone in hopes of learning more about her influences, the ever-changing music writing process, and what she gleaned from TED. How was your day? Good. […]

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"Playing with Pink Noise": Kaki King on TED.com

May 29, 2009

Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone’s “guitar god” list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, “Playing with Pink Noise.” Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.(Recorded at TED2008, February 2008, in Monterey, California. Duration: 14:49) Watch Kaki King’s performance from TED2008 on TED.com, […]

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