Kung Fu Parts Ways With Keyboardist Todd Stoops

UPDATE: We spoke with both Kung Fu and Todd Stoops about the situation.

Connecticut funk-rock act Kung Fu has announced the departure of keyboardist Todd Stoops. Stoops had been a member of the band since it was first formed. The group will continue on with new keyboardist Beau Sasser who’s performed with Alan Evans Trio, Ryan Montbleau, The Z3, other acts and his own Beau Sasser’s Escape Plan outfit.

Here’s the full statement from the band:

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 for everything 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 has shared a statement of his own on Facebook:

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

Next up for Kung Fu is a performance at next month’s Disc Jam Music Festival.

UPDATE: The plot has thickened with another statement from Kung Fu, this one addressing Stoops’ statement:

If it wasn’t broken it wouldn’t need be to fixed. 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 and help. 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.