Kent’s Spotlight Series presents the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s John McEuen and the String Wizards, performing “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” on Friday, March 9.

The performance will be held at Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center, 10020 SE 256th St., Kent, at 7:30 p.m.

McEuen has assembled a unique cast of Americana string wizards for a special night to share the music and memories of the landmark “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” platinum album and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s incredible 50-year career. This multi-media show features archival photographs, film, and Circle session photos.

When the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band recorded “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” the icons of Bluegrass, Country, and West coast country rock convened, including Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, Roy Acuff, Vassar Clements, and Maybelle Carter. Six August 1971 days produced the benchmark record that is still relevant today. (It remains an Amazon top-seller).

Narrative and early NGDB music will take the audience on a journey, interwoven with Dirt Band favorites, hot bluegrass, and rare NGDB tunes. The evening will include classic favorites, as well as music from McEuen’s highly praised new record – Made in Brooklyn. A unique part of the show covers NGDB’s 1977 Russia trip, and what happened behind the Iron Curtain to the first American band to tour there.

The cast of the show, all stellar musicians in their own right, includes: Les Thompson (original NGDB founding member) on bass, vocals, and bouzouki; John Cable (toured Russia with NGDB) on guitar, mandolin, and vocals; and Matt Cartsonis (John’s 25-year music partner) on vocals, mandola, and guitar. All join host John McEuen, with his banjo, guitar, fiddle, and mandolin, as they share – in front of a multi-media screen – hits and stories behind the music. The Library of Congress inducted ‘Circle’ as one of the most important American recordings; the album is also in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Tickets are $28 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for youths. Tickets for this and all Spotlight Series performances are on sale now. Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling 253-856-5051 or in person at the Kent Commons, 525 4th Ave. N. Hours for phone and in-person sales are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Box office is closed on Sunday.

Spotlight Series is presented by the Kent Arts Commission and Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services, and partially funded by 4Culture and a variety of business and individual sponsors. John McEuen’s performance is sponsored by the Pete and Pat Curran Family through the Kent Parks Foundation. For information call 253-856-5050 or visit

Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...