The funk band Kung Fu has just announced today that they are parting ways with founding keyboardist Todd Stoops, and are replacing him with keyboardist Beau Sasser (Alan Evans Trio, Melvin Sparks, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan, The Z3, Uncle Sammy, Ryan Montbleau).  The announcement came just after a run of shows at Summer Camp, and seems to have taken the Kung Fu fanbase by surprise.

The statement from the band reads:

“Change is exciting, challenging, and a constant part of life. It is the process of evolution and growth. We do our best to embrace change in our lives and the music we play, and it is in this spirit that we announce that Kung Fu and Todd Stoops are parting ways.

Todd is our brother, a brilliant musician, and composer. This decision has been difficult for everyone involved. We wish Todd nothing but the very best for his family, his musical endeavors, and we are grateful foreverything he has contributed as a founding member of Kung Fu.

We would like to give a gigantic welcome to Beau Sasser as our new keyboardist. Beau is most notable for his work with Alan Evans Trio, Melvin Sparks, Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan, The Z3, Uncle Sammy, Ryan Montbleau and more. He is a beast of a different flavor on keys, with incredible song writing skills, and we are very excited to have him on the Kung Fu team. With Beau on board, we know that Kung Fu will continue to be one of the best live bands on the scene.

We would like to thank you, our loyal and dedicated fans, for your continued support! We can’t wait to see you this summer!

Peace, Love and Music-
The Ninjas”

Todd Stoops added his own statement regarding his release from the band, stating:

“Dearest Family, Friends, and Fans,

This is tough, but here goes…

It has been the utmost honor to have performed for all of you with Kung Fu for the past 5+ years. I have experienced some of the greatest highs of my life onstage with the band that I co-founded, and I consider myself one of the luckiest humans alive to have been able to share that energy with all of you.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you…

After an incredible run out to the midwest for sets at SummerCamp and Revival, I came home to an email Tuesday from the rest of the band informing me that I was being replaced. Effective immediately.

Needless to say, it was as shocking to me Tuesday afternoon as it must be to all of you reading this now…

I can only wish the best for the remaining members of Kung Fu as they continue their journey. They are good musicians. With only two original members remaining, I’m excited to hear the evolution of that collective.

Moving forward…..

I have always kept a commitment to myself to perform with as many different artists and projects as possible. Always with the intent of broadening my musical vocabulary, personal growth, and most importantly, learning from everyone I have had the opportunity of performing with.

I fully intend on continuing this mission.

Much love!!
Todd Stoops

‪#‎emailbreakupssuck‬‪#‎imwithstoops‬

UPDATE:

In response to Todd’s statement, the band replied with:

“We as friends and partners have been battling this for literally years. We have been supportive, patient and we have begged and pleaded for change. This was not the shocker internally that you may hearing about but ultimately you’ll have to believe what you will. We as a group were choosing to keep this private but, it’s apparent that it won’t be possible.

We understand the feeling and emotion that goes into statements that are made. We hope that you as a community of friends and fans are able to read between the lines.

We choose not to share in the mud slinging and we choose to remain supportive and compassionate but, we ask you to know the difference between truth and fiction.

We are going to stick to the music”

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Written by dowerks

Phish fanatic extraordinaire. Lover of live music. CO transplant.

2 comments

  1. I had the privilege of meeting Todd Stoops backstage at SummerCamp a couple weeks ago. He sat in and played a “solo” with another up and coming band, who were very good. Todd, however, used the same tasteless keyboard trick not just during his “solo,” but throughout the entire song…completely unconcerned about the fact that he was stepping ALL OVER the band he was sitting in with on stage! I was absolutely dumbfounded. As a keyboardist and musician, his performance was honestly painful for me to watch. However, after the Todd Stoops show ended I decided to be friendly and go backstage and introduce myself to him. I told him I enjoyed his playing (I lied to his face) and told him I was the keyboardist of another band that was playing the same festival. It was very apparent that he was very arrogant…to the point that I was honestly embarrassed that he felt the need to act like that in front of the other two guys he was with, who were not in Kung Fu. His air was one of egotism and total self-worship, and I could not bear to be around him. I remained very friendly despite my urges to tell him what I really thought of his “performance,” and moved on to introduce myself to the other guys. They were very friendly and were humble as well, which was a pleasant contrast to the wonderful Todd Stoops. I then asked them what band they were in, at which time Todd Stoops mockingly chimed in, “They’re in Umphrey’s, bro.” Ironically, Umphrey’s McGee was playing at that exact time on the opposite stage, and I had the pleasure of meeting the REAL members of Umphrey’s the night before. Needless to say, he thought that his joke was very funny, and it was apparent that he made the other two guys a bit uncomfortable since they were making an effort to be friendly. I wanted to call him out for being an ass, but I bit my tongue and waited until he left the group to have genuine conversation with the other two guys. All of this to say, Todd Stoops got what he deserved. He was the ONLY person I met that was an arrogant douchebag out of ALL of the other musicians that were at the festival (and most of the people I met were very respected in the music industry). My encounter with Todd Stoops stood out to me so much that I shared what happened to my band mates and we all made jokes about it later on that night about how unnecessary his attitude was at a festival of that caliber. If his attitude in Kung Fu was the same as how it was around me and the other guys he was talking to, there is NO surprise why he got kicked out of his own band. What goes around comes around.

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  2. Dude I’ve known the guy since we were teenagers. You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. Odds are you were the douche and he had some fun with you. Whether you like it or not he played a huge role in that band. I hope you feel better after an attempt to publicly bash him…as if your opinion matters anyway.

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