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Heart and Soul Music Bringing the Music to You

Jul 13, 2016 10:00AM ● Published by Natalie Mollinet

Stratford Big Band playing at Imperial Park to kick off the event —Natalie Mollinet

Gallery: Heart and Soul Music Bringing the Music to You [2 Images] Click any image to expand.

Natalie Mollinet | natalie@mycityjournals.com


There’s nothing like a good foot tapping song, and for many it’s as easy as turning on the radio or your iPod, but truely the sound of live music is the best sound. Thanks to Heart And Soul Music – an organization here in Sugar House – those who can’t travel far or get out of their house can have the music brought to them.

“My brother and I started Heart and Soul Music 22 years ago when our mom was in a rehabilitation facility,” Janna Lauer the executive director said, “our main mission is to bring people that are isolated to music.”

Heart and Soul features different musicians from around the state that play at convalescent homes, senior centers, hospitals, domestic abuse shelters and prisons. Since Lauer and her brother started the organization, they have done over 900 shows and continue to do so because of those in the community and the generosity of their musicians. Shows have been performed not only here in Salt Lake City, but even all the way up to Summit County, but they consider Sugar House the home for Heart And Soul.

“The whole community is a wonderful warm community,” Laure said, “The streets are shady and it’s a pleasant place to live, so we love it in Sugar House.”

Last month Heart and Soul did their 5th annual Music Stroll in Sugar House where 30 different bands performed around the neighborhood. All kinds of music from big band to folk to bluegrass could be heard around the Highland Park neighborhood. Different bands sat in front of houses performing, and despite the weather, the show went on and many gathered around to hear the music.

“its fun we like the music and we like the comradery, we like the food trucks,” April Garff a resident who lives in the middle of it said. Her house was one of the stops on the music stroll and because her family enjoys the stroll so much they thought it’d be cool to have a musician out in front of their home.

The event included food trucks that lined Atkin avenue, and even a raffle where those who entered could win a motor scooter, a weekend for two in Moab and of course many different instruments.

“I think it’s awesome,” Sahara Hayes the programs coordinator for Heart and Soul said, “I love that  there’s a park, I think it’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood I think it’s great because it’s such a community driven area, that I think it’s a perfect location for it.”

The main event starts at Imperial Park, located at 1560 E Atkin Avenue. The park is relatively new and has been very welcoming of the music festival and is in a perfect location for the event.

“Imperial Park just welcomed us with open arms,” Lauer said, “They were looking to get their park set up and the Sally Bear and Ben Burdette and just warmly welcomed us in.”

Those who attended could grab a map at the starting booths and make their way around the tree lined streets, choosing to hear what music they’d like to listen to. The event even included a dancing cow from Chick-Fil-A who helped sponsored the event.

People of ages sat under tents or under the rain and listened. The music was accessible and even those with walkers or in wheelchairs had the chance to listen to the live music, which Heart And Soul strives to do.

“Heart and Soul is a wonderful organization,” Hayes said, “I think it fills a niche that isn’t necessarily covered. Going to shows it’s really cool to see the way people light up. They can reengage in with the world in a way that they might not be otherwise.”

Heart and Soul reaches to those not only here in Sugar House, but in many different cities in northern Utah. Lauer says that they are always looking for musicians to play and as they continue to grow they hope to continue to reach out to those who need to hear a good tune to brighten their day.

If you want to hear some of the music, they have a full schedule on their website at heartsoul.org and there you can also donate to the organization. 

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