Ray Kennedy has died after a long battle with multiple sclerosis. He was 58.
Kennedy (pictured) grew up as part of a musical family in Maplewood, where his family owned a music store, and graduated from Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School in 1975.
After moving to NYC in his early 20s, he became best known for his long tenure in the band of guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli, but also was involved in many musical projects as a bandleader, working with his brother, bassist Tom Kennedy, and with others.
Kennedy was diagnosed with MS in 2006, and had been in a nursing home in New York since 2013. Friends last year set up a page on the site Youcaring.com to raise funds to help his family with his care.
Survivors in addition to his brother include his wife, Eve, and two young daughters, of New York; and a sister, Wanda Kennedy Kuntz, of St. Louis. Funeral arrangements are pending, and when more information becomes available, StLJN will update this post.
Also, a benefit concert to raise money for Kennedy's family will be held in St. Louis on July 17 at the Sheldon, and when there's more information about that, we'll have it for you here.
You can see an excerpt from a Ray Kennedy performance of his tune "Oscar Night" with John Pizzarelli in the embedded video below.
Update, 9:00 a.m., 6/3/15:: A "celebration of the life" of Ray Kennedy will take place at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 10 at Salem Evangelical Free Church, 2490 Pohlman Road (at New Halls Ferry Rd) in Florissant. Also, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has published a detailed obituary about Ray Kennedy, which can be seen online here.