The Johnson C. Smith campus is readying itself for a third year of Soul Junction, West End’s two-day music festival. This family friendly affair is two-days filled with soul, jazz, funk, hip hop, and spoken word. You will also find activity areas for kids and an outdoor food court manned by food trucks to add to the music merriment. This year’s Soul Junction will be from September 14 – 15 on the lawn of Liston Hall at the JCSU main campus. All are welcomed to come and enjoy.
When you come to Soul Junction expect a variety of music. Soul Junction Music Supervisor Tim Scott Jr. makes it a point to focus on the mix of musical styles and acts for the festival. Scott stated in September 2017 Creative Loafing article “When people think black music, they may immediately think ‘hip-hop,’ or ‘R&B,’ or maybe ‘gospel.’ But the black community and its musical styles are so much larger than those simplistic tags.” He said, “If we are going to present something that is going to represent the neighborhood, we want to make sure we were not presenting something that’s monolithic.” In previous years there have been over 20 acts that hit the stage during Soul Junction providing sounds from the soul, jazz, funk, and hip hop genres.
At Soul Junction you can also expect food truck fare full of flavor. Lynn Henderson, Director of Programs at Charlotte Center City Partners was responsible for coordinating the food trucks the past two years. She said that a variety of food trucks have always been booked for Soul Junction. “We’ve had fish, chicken, and burgers. We’ve had middle eastern food. We’ve had a big variety of food.” To increase that variety of food trucks Henderson said different trucks are booked each day of the festival. This year’s focus is still be variety, but will pull in trucks already serving the West End community.
Family & Neighbors
The music and the trucks are all about making it a great time for the people that attend. Starting last year the Kid Zone area came about to provide a space for the youngest attendees. In this space youngsters learned about the history of the music being shared on the festival stage in a fun and highly interactive way. Historic West End Director Alysia Osborne explains why the Kid Zone was so important. “Soul Junction is a family friendly event designed to provide entertainment for all ages in the Historic West End community. The Kids Zone if one way of being intentional about inviting the entire family to experience and celebrate the history of music and culture in the area.”
Enjoy Soul Junction!
Based on the track record of Soul Junction, the 2018 West End two-day music festival is not to be missed. This free festival is a chance to celebrate the rich music history of Charlotte in the heart of it’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. Be sure to save the dates: September 14 – 15. Full details on the website at www.SoulJunctionCLT.com