From Catastrophe to Cantaloupe: Kansas City’s alternative harpist is releasing his upcoming record at the Gem Theater.
On September 15th, Arsenia will unveil the music of his sophomore release, Cantaloupe. The Cantaloupe album release takes place three weeks before the international launch of the record, giving Kansas City friends and supporters a first listen to this theatrical album.
Following his partnership with Kansas City record label Bullseye Records, Calvin Arsenia widens his whimsical wingspan all over again.
Merging jazz, soul, classical, folk, and pop into a five-course musical meal unlike you’ve ever tasted before, Cantaloupe is a satisfying sonic treat. Dynamic, head-bobbing, toe-tapping, moody, and challenging, Cantaloupe takes a mature turn on Arsenia’s usual whimsy. Cantaloupewas produced and co-written with Jametatone’s J Ashley Miller and Quixotic’s Simon Huntley, and was mastered by Grammy Award-winning engineer Dave Kutch.
Arsenia excels on multiple traditional stringed instruments, Celtic harp being the most unique, though when Arsenia sings, it’s no wonder why audiences across North America and Europe are delighted and rocked by his radiant wake. With his elaborate and immersive performances continuing to surprise and delight audiences, Arsenia creates harp-heavy, romance-driven pop music with immersive theatrical and sensory experiences.
The Kansas City native has gathered a mighty cast of musicians spanning the local jazz, classical, and folk communities to immerse you in sonic bliss for a one-night only performance (Let’s not forget Catastrophe!). Laying the foundation for Arsenia’s electric harp and silky voice will be percussionist Simon Huntley, the Sextet’s Robert Castillo on bass, jazz pianist Charles Williams, and electronic musician and producer J Ashley Miller. Also featured will be a 6-piece string ensemble with Tina Bilberry and Carmen Dieker on violin, Alyssa Bell on viola, Ezgi Karakus and Eman Chalshotori on cello, and Rick Willoughby on upright bass. Flanking the other side of the stage will be a brass-wind ensemble featuring bassoonist extraordinaire Rachel Lovelace and Billy Winston on soprano sax and flute. Joining Calvin on vocals will be Jessica Paige and Ashley Jean Rippeto.
Since 2016, Arsenia has graced Helzberg Hall on multiple occasions performing his original music with the likes of Kansas City staples Jeff Harshbarger and Clint Ashlock, and he has been featured on recordings with Brad Cox and Krystle Warren. He’s also been a regular performer with KC’s cirque nouveau collective, Quixotic. In 2017, Arsenia and Huntley set out on the “Outlyre Tour” showcasing music from Arsenia’s first full-length record, Catastrophe, in over thirty concerts covering nine different countries in North America and Europe, the most notable performance being at the Edinburgh Fringe Late Night Lip Service queer cabaret at The Rose Theatre. While in Sweden, Arsenia also performed alongside Egyptian activist-musician Ramy Essam. This Kansas City performance is wedged between two other tours back in Europe, and it promises to be an evening not to miss.