KKLZ Music News

SANTA BARBARA, CA - JANUARY 30: Manager Budd Carr, drummer Phil Ehart and violinist Robby Steinhardt of the band Kansas, and director Charley Randazzo attend the Montecito Award honoring Jennifer Aniston at the Arlington Theater on January 30, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California.

Robby Steinhardt, one of the founding members of Kansas, has died at age 71. He was the band’s violinist.

“Robert Eugene Steinhardt was well recognized as a founding member and original violinist and vocalist for the rock band Kansas,” read a statement released by his family, per Loudersound. “His violin and vocals on ‘Dust in the Wind,’ ‘Point of No Return’ and ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ have etched Robby a solid place in rock history.”

Steinhardt was part of the first Kansas lineup in 1973, which also included Steve Walsh, Rich Williams and Kerry Livgren. In 1982, Steinhardt left the band and formed Steinhardt-Moon, but rejoined Kansas in 1997. After nearly another decade of touring, Steinhardt retired from the band in 2006 but didn’t quit music altogether. At the time of his death, he was working on a solo record according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

As the family noted in their statement, “Robby had been recording his new album with producer Michael Franklin, who put together an all-star cast of famous musicians in support of Robby’s comeback. Steinhardt was very proud of this project, slated for release in late 2021. He had begun rehearsals for a national tour when he became ill… He will be deeply missed by all he knew and his music will last forever.”

“A memorial will be announced in the future.”