Kasim Sulton says his Utopia tour “is a nod to the band [and] to the fans”

Todd Rundgren‘s longtime bassist, Kasim Sulton, is hitting the road with his own version of Utopia, the band he played in with Rundgren from 1976 to 1986.

The 16-date U.S. trek kicks off tonight in Washington, D.C., and wraps up with a March 22 show in New York City.

Explaining what motivated to him to launch his version of Utopia, Kasim tells ABC Audio, “It’s a nod to the band, but it’s also a nod to the fans as well…[It’s] my way of saying thank you for all the loyalty over the years.”

Sulton initially put together his Utopia incarnation — which he fronts, backed by several side musicians — in early 2018, and he says the group helped inspire the 2018 reunion tour featuring three-quarters of Utopia’s best-known lineup: him, Todd and drummer Willie Wilcox.

The other musicians joining Kasim on his tour are his longtime drummer Andy Ascolese, guitarist Bruce McDaniel and keyboardist Gil Assayas, who took over for Roger Powell on the Utopia reunion trek.

McDaniel, meanwhile, is stepping in for Jesse Gress. Gress, who’s toured with Rundgren since the 1990s, had to bow out of Sulton’s trek after coming down with “a really, really bad flu-slash-pneumonia.” McDaniels is a member of The Ed Palermo Big Band, a collective that performs big-band versions of songs by Frank Zappa, Rundgren and other artists.

Regarding the set that his Utopia plays, Sulton says, “I try to keep it as Kasim-centric as possible…I have to make a nod…to Roger Powell on keyboards, to Todd, of course, and to Willie Wilcox…but for the most part…the set is comprised of songs that I sang in the band.”

Check out all the tour dates at KasimSulton.com.

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