The Kruger brothers moved from Switzerland to Wilkesboro in 2003. But their history with American music began when they listened to country radio as children. Jens and Uwe started playing the guitar and banjo, and Jens came to America in the early 1980s to play with the patron saint of bluegrass, Bill Monroe.

When Monroe asked Jens about his aspirations, Jens told Monroe he wanted to play bluegrass music.

“You can’t because you’re not from Kentucky,” Monroe told him. “Go home, write your own music, and then come back.”

Jens took Monroe’s advice and played with his brother in various ensembles, configurations, and styles in Switzerland. In 1995, Jens and Uwe connected with Landsberg to form the Kruger Brothers. With an ensemble approach more like a classical string quartet than a bluegrass band, they forged an elegant musical blend steeped in European and American styles.

Continue reading the Kruger brothers’ story from our March 2012 issue.

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.