Heat Index is a horn driven, contemporary jazz-fusion group that offers a funky R&B showcase when the performance requires it. The band combines fresh original music with extraordinary fusion remakes, resulting in their wide audience appeal. As Wayne Henderson, the funky trombone playing leader of the Jazz Crusaders once said, “Just because it’s jazz, don’t mean you can’t dance”. Our music reflects that statement.
If you’re a club owner looking for a band that plays the kind of music that people will not only listen to but sway to, that’s Heat Index. If you’re a club owner looking for a band that plays more of that old school R&B, that gets people moving, that’s Heat Index. If you’re a person planning an event or a wedding and want a group that can make it memorable, that’s Heat Index. We’re volume sensitive, understand the need to meet specific performance guidelines, and tailor the instrumentation to your liking.
We're seasoned veterans of music who reference performances with some of the biggest names in contemporary music from the last 4 decades. The bio’s of our primary and affiliated players. share global performance recognition. We have performed from Atlanta to Las Vegas, from the Pocono’s to Orlando. Locally, for the past 20 years, we can be seen regularly at the WORLD FAMOUS Blue Room, Kansas City Jazz and Blues Festivals, Zona Rosa concert series, Elms Hotel Wine and Jazz Festivals, Corporate Woods, American Royal after show, Plaza III, Westchase Grille, The Phoenix, Fedora’s, Tonic, and more. We travel regularly performing at corporate events in Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada and the Poconos of Pennsylvania to name a few.
Please explore our website and find out more about this band that raises the excitement and temperature of any event.
History of Heat Index
The origin of Heat Index at one level goes back to 2001. At another level, it goes back to the time when David Parsley and Frank Goddard were young men growing up in Los Angeles, California and Johnson City, Tennessee respectively. Both were avid about music and played with a variety of groups while learning about the various genres of music, ultimately leaning towards contemporary jazz, R&B, and fusion.
Then, as happens often in life for young men, they both went on a different career path and music became an avocation, and yet always a passion. Frank went into the service, and when he left it he ended up living where his last duty station was, at Leavenworth Kansas. And, he worked on the base until his retirement in 2013. David entered in a career in the restaurant industry, managing supply chains for company’s such as Carl’s Jr., Applebee’s, and Chili’s. He retired at the end of 2014.
But well before their retirements, they both met early in 2001 because that love of music had never diminished and both went seeking other musicians they could work with. Through the internet, and a website called kcmusician.com they linked up. It was a ragged group they first performed with, although the performances were really only rehearsals. The group disbanded after only a few months.
But these two veterans knew what they liked and they liked what they heard and saw in each other. They quickly agreed to work together and commit to forming a group, going about it with great enthusiasm. David, being new to the Kansas area (arrived in 2000 to work for Applebee’s), didn’t know as many people as Frank. So Frank was instrumental in bringing the first musicians to the group. They found a few others via the internet again.
So the first Heat Index was formed in late 2001. The name was selected out of a list of more than 100 possibilities. When looking for a name, all kinds of ideas are surfaced. David had turned to looking at the names of songs from various artists, and on a Grover Washington Jr. CD titled”Grover Washington, Jr. PRIME CUTS", came the name. It is track 7 on that CD. Given that the group was going to feature sax, and Grover is one of the best, what a fitting name!
Band Leader, Founder
Saxophones, Flute & Vocals
Born in Los Angeles, David grew up playing in r’n’b and latin-fusion bands primarily in the East Los Angeles area. David’s groups were managed for many years by Casey Kasem. He toured extensively throughout the US and Canada His bands shared a stage with such artists as Issac Hayes, The Chambers Brothers, Dick Clark, Wilson Picket, the Drifters, Brenton Wood, and the Osmond Brothers. During those years he had recording contracts with Mercury Records and later, MGM Records. David also created arrangements and conducted for Fabian during the late 70’s. the He also performed with Jim Belushi and the Sacred Heart Blues Band. He plays all the saxes -soprano, alto, tenor and baritone, as well as flute. He did all this and yet still managed to have a very successful corporate career. He retired from the corporate life at the end of 2014 and is now completely dedicated to Heat Index.
Co-Founder, Bass and Vocals
Born and raised in Johnson City, TN. When the Beatles hit the shores of America, his music interest began. By age 15 he was playing in about three bands in the area, the most influential being “The Funky Souls” with member all at least 8 years older than him. They played local, out of state and nite clubs.This band also backed up famous artist like Sam & Dave and Eddie (“Knock on Wood“) Floyd who performed in Johnson City. After moving to Kansas he played with a well established rock band “Tumbling Dice” for a couple of years. He then went back to playing R&B mixed with Smooth Jazz, at this time making the move to 5 string Bass. Striving to improve his playing ability, He choose to challenge himself by playing more jazz with musicians in the Kansas City area. That’s when he met David Parsley and they decided to form a band which is now Heat Index. He credits every bass player he has ever heard as influences, but especially Willie Weeks , Freddy Washington.
Trombone and Vocals
Brought up and schooled in an all-musical family in Kansas City, Kansas, Karita played piano,violin,cello and bass until she was introduced to the trombone by her junior high school music instructor. From that time on to the present, playing the trombone has opened the door to many wonderful musical experiences. She has participated in musical events that have featured both local and national artist within the world of Jazz, R&B, etc. Her intentions are to continue to expand on her musical experiences in all genres.