Don’t miss the jazz/swing of The Black Market Trust

The Clayton Center’s signature Palladian event series begins on Saturday, Oct. 16, with a performance by The Black Market Trust, a five-member jazz band based in Los Angeles.

The band features the Django Reinhardt inspired gypsy sound of acoustic instruments, and infuses classics from the Great American Songbook with intricate vocal harmonies inspired by The Beach Boys and other artists influential to the group. Their sophomore album “II” featured a Top Ten hit on the Adult Contemporary charts, a signature version of “Route 66.”

Tickets to the 8pm show are $30, plus sales tax and fees. Tickets can be purchased online or through The Clayton Center Box Office at 919-553-17377


Concert Series to kick off Friday, Sept. 10

rebekah todd on stage

Benson native Rebekah Todd and her band, The Odyssey, kick off The Clayton Center’s 2021-2022 concert series on Friday, Sept. 1.

A second North Carolina band, Will West and The Friendly Strangers, will open the show beginning at 7:30pm.

Both Todd and West were featured performers in The Clayton Center’s livestream concert series in 2020-2021. After more than 18 months of uncertainty in the music industry, both are eager to perform to a live audience! 

Rebekah Todd

Rebekah Todd has been surrounded by music for as long as she can remember.

A gifted performer with a natural, soulful, effortless voice, Todd has received countless awards and recognition. She was Encore Magazine’s Best Female Musician of 2018, Wilma Magazine’s Woman to Watch in 2017, and the Carolina Music Awards 2013 Best Female Musician. She also won the 2016 Floyd Fest On The Rise Competition.

Todd is currently writing a new album and touring with her band.

Will West

Will West on stageThe son of a fiddle player, Will West grew up in rural eastern North Carolina. He was inspired by his parent’s vast record collection and began playing guitar when he was 11 years old. His first loves were old-time blues and heavy metal music.

Will released his latest album Transitions (side a) in July 2019. The album—a collection of songs touching on rock, pop, groove and big horn sounds—features a collection of incredible Portland musicians.

Concerts are back – indoors and out

Concerts are back in Clayton! The Clayton Center is counting down to our first show of the year Rebekah Todd & The Odyssey on Friday, Sept. 10, with special guests Will West & The Friendly Strangers. (Tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 2).

In the meantime, we’re excited for the first outdoor concert on Town Square sponsored by the Town of Clayton and the Clayton Downtown Development Association.

Clayton 2021 Town Square Concert Series poster

On Thursday, Aug. 19, local artists Aaron Hamm and the Big River Band and Jonathan Parker will take the stage for the first live Town Square concert in nearly two years.

Headliners Aaron Hamm and the Big River Band are Johnston County natives that play in-your-face, honky-tonk country music. Jonathan Parker describes himself as an American, no apologies, country music artist from the moonshining swamps of Johnston County. Both will welcome you back to Town Square in style.

The second Town Square show is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30. Beach music band and crowd favorite The Embers featuring Craig Woolard will be back. The Embers consider the genre of beach music as “music with a memory” and have been creating lasting memories since its inception in 1958. Simply put – heart and soul, rhythm and blues, feel good music.

Town Square concerts also feature food trucks, beverages, and activities for the kids starting at 6:00pm. The live music begins at 6:30pm. Town Square is located at 110 W. Main St.- at the intersection of O’Neil Street and Main Street.

The outdoor series is sponsored by Deep River Brewing CompanyHTR: Hometowne Realty and Leak Locators.

We’re gearing up to go live

microphone on stage

The Clayton Center will reopen this fall with a 2021-2022 schedule of live events to rival seasons past.

Details about upcoming events will be released over the next few weeks. Our first announcement will be this Wednesday, July 28. Keep an eye on your inbox, on this website and on our social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for more information.

(If you’re not on our e-news mailing list, subscribe by using the link to the right on this homepage or send an email to

We can tell you now that we are looking forward to welcoming you back safely (you can read our reopening Health & Safety Guidelines here) and to having a live audience in the auditorium.

See you soon!

Dancing our way back to a live audience

Dance recital season is always an exciting time at The Clayton Center. So, when we closed our doors just before dance season started last year, it seemed especially quiet in the Auditorium.

Dance Group

Now, after a year of all things virtual, our local dance students have the chance to take the stage once again. The Clayton Center will begin the reopening process by hosting several local dance recitals over the next six weeks.

Granted, things will look different in this 2021 spring season. In year’s past several hundred family members would fill the seats for each recital, and some recitals would sell out all 600 of our seats. This year social distancing will allow for fewer than 150 audience members per show, all wearing masks, of course.

Despite the venue restrictions and Covid precautions that we are taking, feedback from the studio owners, parents and the dancers is positive. They are all eager to be back at The Clayton Center for live performances. And we welcome them as our first step toward presenting concerts and other events in the coming months.