Tonight, legendary roots musicians Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will bring “Mr. Bojangles” and a slew of other hits to life on stage at the KCD Theater on the East End.
Read the above sentence to a large portion of folks in Kentuckiana and you will most likely get asked one question: “What – and where - is KCD Theater?”
We caught up with Brad Lyman, Kentucky Country Day School Headmaster and current man-in-charge of KCD Theater to get a little insight into this new Louisville music venue and what it means to the city and the scene.
Explain what and where the KCD Theater is for those uninitiated.
The KCD Theater is a 468-seat venue that opened in October of 2010. It is a state-of-the art facility with pitch perfect acoustics, comfortable seating in an intimate environment. The theater is conveniently located just off the intersection of I-265 and I-71 in eastern Jefferson County. The main gate to the theater is located directly across Springdale Road from the Summit shopping center.
What artists have played there in the past?
With the theater opening in October, we wanted to do only three shows this year. Our very first concert was a sold-out show by a personal favorite of mine, Iris DeMent on November 12, 2010. On March 19, 2011 we sold out a Josh Ritter show in one day. It was a spectacular solo performance. A couple of the songs he played at KCD ended up on YouTube!
Why Nitty Gritty Dirt Band?
They are one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. They have successfully navigated a 42-year career by blending the best of country, folk, Americana, and rock. Plus, they put on an excellent show and seemed the perfect fit for our intimate venue.
What plans are there for the theater?
We hope to make the KCD Theater the east side center for the arts. We will have performances across genres including classical, jazz, dance, and more. We have lined up the following singers to perform next year:
9/24 Nanci Griffith
10/8 Todd Snider
11/5 David Wilcox
2/11/12 Abigail Washburn
March or April: James McMurtry, Greg Brown
Explain your involvement in running the theatre and how that came about.
My day job is being the headmaster of Kentucky Country Day School (KCD). After raising the necessary funds and completing the construction, we wanted to immediately follow through to our supporters by opening the venue for public performances. I had not a clue how to book an act.
I liked Iris DeMent so I "Googled" her agent one night. Within 10 minutes he and I were talking and we made the deal the next day. Ready, fire, aim! So, I guess I am a promoter by default. Next year, we are hiring a person to handle such promotions. My stint in show business was short and sweet!
Any dream acts you’d like to see play the theater?
What is your favorite thing about the venue?
It is exactly what we wanted: large lobby, perfect acoustics. intimate setting, great legroom and seats, ample free parking, and the overall design.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I encourage people to check our website or our Facebook page for further information on upcoming events.
Photo courtesy of KCD.