190821_rt_blue_moon

Blue Moon All-Stars

Only one band has been part of the Paola Roots Festival for more than two decades.

The Blue Moon All-Stars are back to perform in the festival’s 30th anniversary. No band has graced the Paola Roots Festival stage more than the Blue Moon All-Stars.

It would not be the Roots Festival without an appearance by The Blue Moon All-Stars.

The band returns to honor their friend, the late Peter Hasselquist.

Hasselquist was a regular at the Roots Festival, performing as a one-man-band dating back to the early days of the event when it was a barbeque with music at Wallace Park.

Playing for the Blue Moon All-Stars are Steve Coffelt, Rodney Cunningham, Saleen Elihi, Phillip “Treetop” White, Wade Crump, Bob Stevens and Chuck Payne.

The Blue Moon All-Stars perform to keep Hasselquist’s spirit alive and well at the festival he loved so much.

In addition to honoring their friend’s memory, the Blue Moon All-Stars raise money to help others studying the arts realize their dreams.

Following his death, eight members of the Blue Moon All-Stars vowed to keep Hasselquist’s love for the festival alive and well, going to the Roots Festival stage to perform in his honor.

Roots Festival organizer Lee Mott, who manages the fund for the Blue Moon All-Stars, said the group awards three $500 scholarships youths who graduate from a school in Miami County with plans to study instrumental, vocal music, dance or other artistic pursuits.

Members of the band play for their own bands throughout the year, but always come together for the Roots Festival as a lasting memory to Hasselquist and an event he never missed.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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