The band announced on social media Tuesday that Joe Deninzon will be taking Ragsdale’s place in KANSAS. Known as “The Jimi Hendrix of the Violin,” Deninzon uses a unique style for his seven-string violin.
Deninzon is the lead singer and violinist for the progressive rock band, Stratospheerius, and is featured on more than a hundred albums as a violinist and string arranger, according to the band. He has previously performed and/or recorded with the Who, Bruce Springsteen, 50 Cent, Sheryl Crow, Ritchie Blackmore, Smokey Robinson, Peter Criss from KISS and others.
“We are extremely excited for Joe Deninzon to be the newest member of KANSAS,” said original KANSAS member and drummer Phil Ehart. “We believe KANSAS fans will enjoy what Joe will bring to the band. We are excited to kick off the KANSAS 50th Anniversary Tour. As the paragraph in the band’s first album said, ‘KANSAS IS A BAND’ and we remain so to this day.”
Deninzon has a bachelors degree in Violin Performance from Indiana University and a masters in Jazz Violin from the Manhattan School of Music, according to the band.
“As a lifelong fan of Kansas, I am overwhelmed and humbled to have been invited to join this legendary band!” said Deninzon. “I have the deepest respect for Robby and David and will do my best to honor and build on their musical legacy.”
The first performance with Deninzon will be in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 2 at the Benedum Center on the premier date of the KANSAS 50th Anniversary Tour, according to the band.