Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples will perform together July 16 at Thompson’s Point in Portland, bringing together two performers with long histories in American music and culture.

The two have known each other since both were in their early 20s, and Dylan once asked Staples, 76, to marry him. She was a member of the Staples Singers, a gospel group that became famous during the American civil rights movement. Dylan began his career as a protest singer, writing songs that became anthemic of the ’60s. Their careers have been twined since, and although they have performed together before, this is believed to be the first time they have toured together.

Dylan, who turns 75 in May, released details of his summer tour with Staples early Monday. The tour coincides with the release of his next studio album, “Fallen Angels.”

Dylan has played in Portland and across southern Maine many times, most recently in Lewiston in 2013. He last performed in Portland in 2006.

Reserved seats for the Portland show in July cost $80; general admission lawn access costs $64. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. March 18 at the State Theatre box office, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at

The tour begins on the West Coast in June and works its way east. The Portland date is among a handful of concerts in the Northeast that Dylan and Staples have scheduled. Other regional dates include July 2 at Lenox, Massachusetts; July 3 at Mashantucket, Connecticut; July 14 in Boston; and July 17 in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Dylan remains among the most celebrated songwriters in history and continues to tour with his five-piece band regularly. He typically focuses his concerts on material from the last two decades of his career while largely ignoring the songs that made him famous. His most recent album, “Shadows of the Night,” was released last year. It includes songs made popular by Frank Sinatra.


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