Enriching lives by providing the community with cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities.

Performing Arts

The 153-seat Taylor Theater is actually a converted carriage house, or more accurately, the stable which housed the carriage horses, and its original, rough-hewn beams and ceiling add a unique flavor to the experience. The Theater is located directly behind the Kenan House at 433 Locust Street. Regular and wheelchair access is from the north side of building. Ample parking is located behind the theater. The Theater and adjacent Meeting Room are both available for rental.

PERFORMANCES IN THE TAYLOR THEATER

MONTHLY: Defiant Monkey Improv
Improv Jams & Masters of Improv Shows

Defiant Monkey Improv is a two-person improvisational group featuring Karen Eichler and Andrew Spragge that creates on-the-spot theatre based on audience suggestions and participation, like you see on the TV show Whose Line Is It, Anyway? The team hosts a monthly “jam” where participants take part and a show where they take suggestions from the audience and then create one-of-a-kind theatre experience. Both events take place in the Taylor Theater. There is a $5 cost to participate in jams; $10 admission for shows. See the Calendar for upcoming 2018 dates. Click here to visit their website.

Our second year of jazz performances will feature six concerts in the Taylor Theater, a 153-seat converted carriage house on the Center’s campus that provides an intimate, club-like atmosphere. All concerts feature two full sets of music with refreshments available.

Tickets are $15 for Kenan Center members and $20 for the general public, and may be purchased online at Ticketleap, in person at the Kenan Center Business Office, or charged by phone at 716-433-2617. Ample free parking is available onsite. The Taylor Theater is located on the campus of the Kenan Center at 433 Locust Street in Lockport, NY. Because seating is limited, advance tickets are recommended.

Finger Poppin’ — The Legacy of Horace Silver with The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop
May 19, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop will perform music inspired by the legendary jazz composer, Horace Silver at the Taylor Theater on Saturday, June 19, 2018. Finger Poppin’ — The Legacy of Horace Silver is the third in a series of six programs in the Jazz at The Taylor concert series, produced by Kathleen Rooney in collaboration with the Kenan Center. The show begins at 7:30 PM in the converted carriage house on the Kenan Center’s campus, providing an intimate, club-like atmosphere. The concert features two full sets of music with refreshments available.

Pianist Horace Silver, who would have turned 90 this year, was one of the most celebrated and influential composers of the back-to-basics, hard bop era. His distinctive tunes featured direct, memorable melodies, rhythmic and melodic hooks, and clear song forms, all informed by the blues. Silver expanded his compositional palette by incorporating soul, gospel, Latin, and later, rock influences into his writing. He was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 1995 and received a President’s Merit Award from the Recording Academy in 2005.

The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop will celebrate this musical innovator with an evening of original compositions influenced by and responding to Silver’s legacy. The Workshop is a sextet bringing together some of Buffalo’s best jazz musicians to focus on the art of small group composition.

The Buffalo Jazz Composers Workshop is Kelly Bucheger, alto & tenor saxophones; Tim Clarke, trumpet & flugel; Jared Tinkham, guitar; Alec Dube, vibes; Joe Goehle, bass; John Bacon, drums. Bacon, Clarke, and Dube are this year’s JazzBuffalo poll winners on their instruments; Bucheger, past winner for his group What Would Mingus Do? has also delighted audiences at the Taylor Theater.

On bringing this accomplished sextet to the Jazz at The Taylor series, Bucheger said “the Taylor Theater is my favorite new space for jazz in Western New York — a beautiful, intimate, and inspiring setting with great sound: a real gem!”

Born To Be Wild: The Buffalo Jazz Octet Plays the Music of ’68
June 23, 2018, 7:30 PM

The Buffalo Jazz Octet will perform the music of 1968, with arrangements of tunes made famous by legendary rock icons such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Steppenwolf. The concert will take place at the Taylor Theater on Saturday, June 23, 2018. This musical evening marks the fourth in a series of six programs in the Jazz at The Taylor concert series, produced by Kathleen Rooney in collaboration with the Kenan Center. The show begins at 7:30 PM in the converted carriage house on the Kenan Center’s campus, providing an intimate, club-like atmosphere. The concert features two full sets of music with refreshments available.

1968 is a year that many consider to be a turning point in American history. It was a year of social and political upheaval: the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, demonstrations against the escalating Vietnam war and for Black Power and Women’s Lib. And alongside all of it, the amazing music of 1968 reflected the aspirations and significance of the rising youth culture.

Fifty years later, the fearless Buffalo Jazz Octet will take on this fierce and still-relevant music. The band will reimagine some of 1968’s most potent anthems, including The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and “Hey Jude,” The Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” and Jimi Hendrix’s “House Burning Down,” songs that reflect the turbulence of that eventful year and that continue to resonate in today’s culture.

Critic, Jeff Simon in The Buffalo News, called the Buffalo Jazz Octet a “terrific” band that “knows its Mingus, its Sun Ra and its AACM too,” and former Village Voice reviewer Tom Hull called the Octet “a remarkable large free jazz ensemble, with brisk and energetic group improv that never breaks down.”

Members of the Buffalo Jazz Octet include several musicians who have wowed audiences at the Taylor Theater in previous concerts: Kelly Bucheger, alto saxophone; Tim Clarke, trumpet; Joe Goehle, bass, and John Bacon, drums. Rounding out the group and new to the Taylor are Nelson Rivera, tenor saxophone; Steve Baczkowski, baritone saxophone; Phil Sims, trombone and leader Michael McNeill, on piano.

Upcoming dates and performances:
October 6: Alec Dube Quartet Plays Tribute to The Modern Jazz Quartet
December 1: The Ed Croft Trio’s Comfort & Jazz Holiday Show

For weather related closing information please click here.

Kenan Center is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.