Blues Band

The Heather Newman Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Seaton Family Pavilion in Forest Park for the Music in the Park free concert series.

A popular Kansas City band will bring its brand of blues to the Seaton Family Pavilion in Forest Park this week.

The Heather Newman Band is the next act for the Music in the Park free concert series. The band will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. If there is unfavorable weather, the show will be relocated to the Parsons Municipal Auditorium.

Newman was a solo singer/songwriter playing acoustic music before gradually turning to blues, Matt Hoisington, city of Parsons media and events director, said.

Newman and her band are young and talented, he said, and really bring a lot of energy to their live performances.

Hoisington was looking at another established Kansas City blues band but was disappointed by videos of its live performances. The price the band commanded was too high compared to what it offered, so Hoisington looked for a better value. A booking agent recommended the Newman band, and Hoisington like what he heard.

“I was really, really impressed by a lot of her originals,” Hoisington said.

According to the band’s website,, the love of blues grew in Newman’s heart from a young age. She participated in the BluesEd program in her hometown, Omaha, Nebraska.

Newman taught herself to play the guitar and eventually booked acoustic shows around Omaha. Her songwriting turned toward folk, but she couldn’t seem to shake off her blues roots. 

After a successful solo career and traveling as a vocalist and rhythm guitarist with another group, Newman began building a legacy of her own with a new instrument and a new band.

Debuting as the Heather Newman Band at legendary Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, Missouri, the blues trio continued making strides as the year progressed, eventually adding a fourth member to bring a new level to the band. According to the band’s website, with the strong leading melodies of Keith Ladd on guitar and Ryan Matthew on piano and organ, Newman’s steady grooving bass lines lock in Cole Dillingham’s deep rooted beats. The group produces a medley of various styles such as soul, funk, blues and rock. 

Music in the Park is organized by the city of Parsons and Labette Community College with sponsorship from CST Storage. Concessions will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Bench seating and picnic tables will be available for the concert, but individuals are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs. No alcoholic beverages or glass containers are allowed in the park, and smoking is restricted to designated areas.

Recommended for you