On Sunday, January 28, 2024, enjoy an immersive night of timeless classics when “Johnny Cash – The Official Concert Experience” comes to downtown Olympia’s Washington Center for the Performing Arts. With a unique approach that uses video of the man himself as well as a live band and on-stage vocalists, you’re sure to find yourself singing along and dancing in the aisles.

Stage with band performing with photo of June Carter and Johnny Cash
The Man in Black himself comes to town on Sunday, January 28 thanks to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts. Photo credit: Timothy Norris

Downtown Olympia’s Washington Center Celebrates Johnny Cash and His Musical Legacy

Whatever your favorite genre of music, many of us have a soft spot for the Man in Black. Johnny Cash had a career spanning 50 years and global hits including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire.” His music has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide and includes the influences of country, rock-and-roll, blues, folk, gospel and rockabilly.

Though he passed away 20 years ago, “Johnny Cash – The Official Concert Experience” makes it feel like Johnny, June and their family are in the room with us, crooning and storytelling and sharing tales from many years on the road.

There will be video from “The Johnny Cash Show” projected above the stage while musicians and singers perform Cash’s hits. “This brand-new concert experience will bring my father and his music back to fans all around the world,” shares his son, John Carter Cash.

Part of a larger North American tour, the musical cast includes players of the highest caliber including Debbie Horton on electric guitar. She is the only woman to have played lead guitar for Cash himself, having met him as a child and remaining friends for more than 20 years.

Stage with band performing with photo of Johnny Cash
Lead guitarist Debbie Horton is the only woman to have played lead guitar for Cash himself. She promises top-shelf music and stories from his long-time musical legacy. Photo credit: Timothy Norris

More than Just a Tribute Show, Enjoy a Celebration of Johnny Cash and his Life

Horton is passionate about this production. “This is the only show actually endorsed by the estate of Johnny Cash,” shares Horton. “It’s not a tribute, but a celebration of his music. Everything is done as authentically as possible – down to each note played.” She says that it’s thrilling to be able to play for Johnny again through the show.

With a songbook spanning decades, Horton loves seeing the audience’s reaction when a favorite tune is played. “I see all ages at our shows, and I see the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears,” she says. Older attendees approach her with stories and memories of past performances while younger audiences are drawn in seeing the music performed live. “This show is touching people’s hearts,” she adds, “I see it every night. The music of Johnny Cash is as relevant as it ever was, and his message resonates today.”

Even having played together and knowing the Cash family personally, Horton is still blown away by the show’s wow factor. She explains that seeing him on a 20-foot stage singing powerful songs like “Ring of Fire” gets people’s attention from the start. Music is interspersed with commentary from son John Carter about his father’s life, work, activism and historical legacy. And the closing finale, in Horton’s words, “gets the audience up on their feet in a celebration of the Man in Black.”

Don’t Miss Out on Tickets: Get Yours Today

“Johnny Cash – the Official Concert Experience” rolls into Olympia at 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 28, 2024. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online, by calling 360.753.8586 or at the Washington Center Box Office. Their downtown window is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Want to learn more about the show? Check out these images and video clips from the show.

While on the Washington Center’s website, make sure to sign up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on future performances. Or check out the events calendar and check out subscription packages for attending multiple shows.

Arrive a few minutes early to check out the Washington Center Gallery which showcases the work of local artists, photographers and other talented artists. Or consider becoming a volunteer and help keep the Center vital for generations to come.

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