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K.R. Azad

K.R. Azad Krishnaswami Ramachandran Azad, passed away unexpectedly at 27 years of age on 5/20/2021 in Denver, Colorado.

Azad was born on August 8th 1993, and raised in Manhattan, Kansas. As an only child, he was loved very much by his mother and father. He was predeceased by his father, Prakash Krishnaswami, a professor in mechanical engineering at Kansas State University. Prakash passed away after a battle with leukemia in 2008, leaving Azad with a mischievous sense of humor, a thirst for learning, and a knack for spreading joy to all around him. He is survived by his mother, Sujatha Prakash, who passed on her kindness, genuine nature, and passion for teaching. He graduated from Manhattan High School in 2011 as the valedictorian, going on to study at the University of Kansas, earning a degree in Music Composition and Theory in 2016. He was a consummate musician – equally adept at composing a verse, balancing an ensemble with his drumbeat, and lighting up a live audience with his verve and smile. He released studio albums with Like A Tiger and Stop Motion, and lent his wide-ranging talents to brass hip-hop and lounge jazz groups alike. In life, as in his music, Azad marched to the beat of his own drum, providing to those around him a steady line through challenging bars, polyrhythmic color to make life interesting, laughter through the miscues, and a constant reminder that life is a rehearsal, not a recital. He was gifted his first drum set at the age of seven and hasn’t put down the sticks since. The beat of his drum, rhythm of his heart, and jive of his soul lives on in his students, band members, friends, family, and all of those who have had the privilege of listening to him perform.


There will be a memorial service on Thursday 5/27 at 8 AM at Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen funeral home. The address is 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502. The event will be followed by a drum circle

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