Hundreds come out for the Heart & Soul Music Stroll
Jun 18, 2018 16h28
By Spencer Belnap
Heart & Soul Music Stroll in full swing along Filmore Street. (Spencer W. Belnap/City Journals)
By Spencer W. Belnap | [email protected]
Heart & Soul is a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit now in its 24th year. The group brings free live concerts into isolated places such as hospitals, prisons, domestic abuse centers, psychiatric facilities and senior communities year-round. They also hold a big event once a year in the Sugar House neighborhood by 1530 East 2700 South called the Heart & Soul Music Stroll.
Held June 9 this year, it was the stroll’s seventh year in existence. Forty-seven local bands played on various porches and yards for hundreds of neighbors and visitors.
The tree-lined neighborhood was quite bustling for the five hours of the event, with various ages walking and biking all over the several dedicated blocks. There were 16 different stages spread out across Filmore and Glenmare Streets, and 10 food trucks along Atkin Avenue.
There was a more traditional pavilion stage at Imperial Park, which allowed for kids to get some energy out at the playground while their parents caught some tunes. The rest of the makeshift stages though were just residents’ well-manicured lawns or their driveways, and labeled porch No. 1 through porch No. 15. Music styles were bountiful, featuring everything from alt-country and acoustic pop to rockabilly and Celtic Irish. While free to attend, raffle tickets could be purchased for prizes such as Moab vacations and local restaurant gift cards. All donations went to Heart & Soul, helping fuel its more than 1,000 live shows a year.
Many bands that had played in previous years’ strolls returned this year and enjoyed seeing how much the event has grown. JT Draper Trio plays classic and original blues and roots music and was the last act on porch No. 7.
“This is our second year playing,” lead singer and guitarist Draper said. “I haven’t been able to walk around that much yet, but it seems like a very impressive crowd this year. I like how different this show is.”
JT and his band mates play more than 100 shows per year at various venues both intimate and large, but the Music Stroll is very unique compared to their other live performances.
“I like to give back,” Draper said. “We usually play three or four shows a year in hospitals, mental illness centers, day homes.”
Neighbors in this part of Sugar House have grown accustomed to the day where their front yards become concert venues, and they welcome visitors into their slice of Salt Lake City. First-time Music Stroll attendee Maureen Andrus drove into the area from Holladay.
“This is really neat,” Andrus said. “Everyone I’ve heard has been great. I really liked The Stratmores and Second Story Band.”
The Salt Lake native had never heard of Heart & Soul before that week and was glad to be a part of the good cause.
“The atmosphere here today has a great feel to it,” Andrus said. “Even though there are a lot of people, it feels relaxed and peaceful.”
Heart & Soul board member and volunteer Conae Holmes was very pleased with 2018’s Music Stroll.
“It just gets bigger and bigger,” Holmes said. “Good weather always helps—no rain today. It’s been a really great one.”