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A Stagey Bank Affair, the new album by Arun Shenoy, was influenced by vintage carnival art.

Vintage Ticket styles adorn the elaborate graphics on Arun Shenoy's new album.

Arun Shenoy introduces Bansuri Funk in his unique concept album - A Stagey Bank Affair.

The lead single “Sugar Free (feat. Uziel)” enjoys 2 weeks #1 Most-Added at BDS stations and Most Added on and is also VIDEO HOT PICK for July!

It is about multiple influences, being full of joy, experimentation, taking risks, feeling scared, getting old, it getting messy, doing too many things in a short span of time, yet having so much fun.
— Arun Shenoy, Grammy-nominated composer/producer/guitarist
LOS ANGELES, CA, UNITED STATES, June 30, 2016 / -- Truly a musical citizen of the world, Arun Shenoy’s passion for and rich exploration of Spanish Flamenco music on his dynamic 2012 debut recording Rumbadoodle earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album – a breakthrough that catapulted him to international renown and opened a wide range of creative possibilities.

For a follow-up, the easiest approach for the Indian born, Bangalore bred and Singapore based composer, producer and guitarist would have been to delve further into the journey of Flamenco from Spain to the New World. Instead, he set his sights Eastward to unleash his high octane, multi-faceted “Bansuri Funk” sound on a full length collection whose title, A Stagey Bank Affair, is as intriguing as the music is infectious, soulful and exotic. The album’s infectious and jazzy, playfully grooving lead single “Sugar Free” (feat. guest keyboardist Uziel) released on June 3, ahead of the project’s July 1 drop date.

As described in the colorful, clowns and carnival art illustrated packaging, “Bansuri Funk” is sound stylized by the fusion of funk, smooth jazz and rock with a spicy hint of world pleasures, the latter being a reference to the blazing performance on the traditional Bansuri (an Indian woodwind, historically revered as Lord Krishna’s divine instrument) by acclaimed flautist Ravichandra Kulur. Kulur is a globally renowned master who has performed over 1,000 concerts, including dates with the legendary Ravi Shankar and his daughter, Anoushka Shankar.

The music on A Stagey Bank Affair is largely inspired by the funk influences Shenoy inherited from his longtime friend and collaborator, bassist Duke Purisima. In 2014, Kulur, Purisima and the guitarist introduced the Bansuri Funk sound via “Soul’d,” an eponymous single they recorded as a trio. Kulur and Purisima are two of the prominently featured members of The Groove Project, a new musical ensemble that Shenoy created, which currently includes many of the brilliant artists and dear friends he has been working with over the years, and who have been an integral part of his signature production sound. The band also includes a few new artists who bring their own unique sound to the project.

Currently, the ensemble also includes Jeff Coffin and Nick Stefanacci on saxophone; Ed Roth, Jonathan Anand Wesley and Dave Gross on piano and keys; Felipe Praino, Owen Gurry and Jim Kimo West on guitar; Ian Cameron on violin; Don Hart on live String and Horn Orchestration, and Jerry Chua on Drums. Chua also mixed and mastered the music on the album, as he has done on most of Shenoy productions in the past.

To paraphrase the reflective yet whimsical, metaphor rich liner notes – penned by its Art Director, Roshni Mohapatra – the basic premise of the album is about keeping alive the inner child in all of us. These notes begin, “A Stagey Bank Affair is a labour of love; of a wonderland that we have, and representative of the inherent sadness and chaos that we take up every day as adults.”

Shenoy says that the music and visuals on the album are meant to represent the wonderland that we all have within us, along with the inherent sadness and chaos that we take up every day as adults. He adds, “A Stagey Bank Affair is a metaphor for a place which used to be a fun fair, and now means a messy affair, kind of like adulthood is. Growing up just means we stop growing and stop having fun. Fairgrounds are where our inner child finds play and a place where we can say ‘whee’ and spin around in circles, become dizzy and life’s worries don’t matter. So yes, there is enough happiness in music, even when we’re sad or are afraid of clowns.”

Another facet is the concept is the theme of the Sad Clown, represented by the wistful, reflective and slightly melancholy track of that name). It adds a slightly darker counterpoint to the funky, fun sound of the album. “This album,” Shenoy says, “is a journey of that sad clown, who goes through the randomness of being in a colourful fairground, which is life. It has many layers. It is about multiple influences, being full of joy, experimentation, taking risks, feeling scared, getting old, it getting messy, doing too many things in a short span of time, yet having so much fun that it leaves a lasting impression. The visual aesthetic used for the fairground concept is presented in the format of vintage poster illustrations, and serves as a metaphor for what this album stands for.”

In addition to the single “Sugar Free (feat. Uziel)” featuring the brilliant piano improvisations of Boston and Los Angeles based pianist Uziel, highlights on A Stagey Bank Affair include the brass-fired, funk driven title track, featuring the quirky sound of Jeff Coffin’s sax; the high energy “Speedway Rush,” driven by Ravi’s blazing, percussive flute and lush, vibrant string and horn arrangement; the soulful and emotionally intense “Pirate of the Seven Seas (Unplugged),” centered around an intimate duet between Jim Kimo West’s guitar and Jonathan Wesley’s piano and supported by a rock solid groove; another barnburner in “High Striker,” a duet showcase by Nick Stefanacci on sax and Ravi on flute; and the edgy dance jam “Hot Head Balloon,” which is driven by Owen Gurry’s funky guitar riffs.

The artwork, under the direction of Roshni Mohapatra, creates an intrinsic duality in conveying the overall concept of A Stage Bank Affair. Mohapatra worked with the team at Actuality Films in NYC, which took her ideas (detailed concepts and sample drawings) and translated them into the rich visuals that illustrate the project. The team also created two animated music videos for the project.

Links -
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For more information or requests, please contact the appropriate party:
Public Relations & Interviews: The B Company, Beth Hilton: bethhilton(at)thebcompany(dot)com
Radio airplay: Gorov Music Marketing, Cliff Gorov, cliff(at)gorovmusic(dot)com or (702) 492-4965
Physical Distribution: CPI Distribution, claypinc(at)cs(dot)com, or 440-333-2208
Digital Distribution: DashGo, Geoff(at)dashgo(dot)com

Beth Ann Hilton
The B Company
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