The first round of artists for Big Ears 2020 have been revealed and tickets are on sale now!
Don’t miss a weekend of 100 + performances shaping the sound of modern music, plus installations, exhibitions, surprise collaborations, and unexpected connections March 26-29 in Downtown Knoxville, TN.
Whether you’re looking to skim the surface or fully immerse yourself into the full Big Ears experience, there’s a ticket for everyone. Explore your ticket options and secure your spot today!
We’re excited to announce the first round of artists slated to join us for Big Ears 2020.
A few of the many highlights include:
• BRAXTON75. A celebration of composer/saxophonist and musical iconoclast Anthony Braxton’s 75th year featuring a rare solo performance, his Diamond Curtain Wall Trio, and the world premiere of the Thunder Music Ensemble.
• TERRY RILEY at 85. A celebration of the minimalist guru’s 85th year on the planet, featuring a duo with Gyan Riley, a solo organ performance on the new St. John’s Cathedral pipe organ, and more.
• MEREDITH MONK with BANG ON A CAN ALL-STARS. The amazing Meredith Monk returns to Big Ears with BOAC for the full concert premiere of their collaborative work, Memory Game.
• JOHN PAUL JONES & ANSSI KARTTUNEN: Sons of Chipotle. The legendary Led Zeppelin bassist gathers no moss as he continues his musical explorations and collaborations. This finds him in the company of the renowned Finnish classical cellist in their North American concert debut.
• KIM GORDON • STEVE GUNN • BILL NACE • JOHN TRUSCINSKI: Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS. Rock icon Gordon returns to Big Ears with her Body/Head collaborator, joined by two other Big Ears alums to create the soundtrack to Warhol’s iconic film.
• JOE HENRY’S 115th Dream, featuring Jason Moran and Marc Ribot, with Jay Bellerose, David Piltch, and Levon Henry. Big Ears asked the great singer/ songwriter / producer Joe Henry to put together a special “dream band” for the festival. This is it.
• JASON MORAN & THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS: All around Renaissance man Jason Moran is bringing this large ensemble to pay tribute to the legendary ragtime innovator, Jame . s Reese Europe.
• CAROLINE SHAW with SŌ PERCUSSION: The 2013 Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Shaw finally comes to Big Ears to present some of her extraordinary work, including this collaboration with the percussion wizards of SŌ.
• NATHALIE JOACHIM with Spektral Quartet: Fanm D’ayiti (Women of Haiti). Flutist / singer Joachim, who first appeared at Big Ears with eighth blackbird, returns with an extraordinary tribute to the women of her native Haiti, easily one of the most fabulous new works of this or any year.
• Iceland’s alternative rock legends MÚM will make a rare US appearance, celebrating 20 years since Yesterday Was Dramatic—Today is OK.
• TINDERSTICKS will perform their first US concert in many years in the wake of a long awaited, brand new recording.
• Denmark’s Efterklang return to the US for the first time in many years, also with new music.
• After his astonishing performances at last year’s Big Ears with both Sons of Kemet and the Comet Is Coming, saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings will return with a third group, The Ancestors.
• German free-jazz titan Peter Brötzmann will make his Big Ears debut, playing solo in celebration of a new recording and revisiting his duo with the amazing drummer Andrew Cyrille,a highlight of this year’s Vision Festival in NYC.
• There’s more adventurous new jazz from bands led by Joshua Abrams, Jaimie Branch, Myra Melford, Jeff Parker, and Dan Weiss.
• Psychedelic desert rock from Mdou Moctar, Haitian voodoo blues from Moonlight Benjamin, new adventures in electronic music with Caterina Barbieri and Sarah Davachi; Can’s legendary singer Damo Suzuki, plus exciting new sounds from the Egyptian underground from Maurice Louca and Nadah El Shazly, the wild, uncategorizable, freewheeling rock of 75 Dollar Bill…
There are so many other great artists performing at the festival this year. Be sure to visit bigearsfestival.org to learn more about them all.
Additional artists and performances will be announced in the coming weeks, along with information about the film and literary programs, talks and discussions, and other facets of the Big Ears experience.
Tickets for Big Ears will be available beginning Thursday, October 10, at 12:00pm EST and are available here.
As we await the Big Ears 2020 lineup announcement on Tuesday, October 8th and on sale on Thursday, October 10th check out a fun recap of what Big Ears is all about. Stay tuned and sign up for Big Ears’ newsletter at bigearsfestival.org.
This past weekend, thousands of music fans gathered on the beautiful grounds of Keeneland’s historic racecourse in celebration of music, bourbon, and equine for the inaugural Railbird Festival! Read what Rolling Stone and Music Fest News had to say about the weekend below!
“Lexington is kind of the biggest small town,” Kentucky Justin Wells told Rolling Stone. “Keeneland is a pretty quintessential spot. And I’m glad that this is a lot of folks’ first view of our town.” Read Rolling Stone’s Top 10 list from the weekend here, including Brandi Carlile’s golden hour set and Tyler Childers’ hometown gig of sorts.
“The grounds of the world-renowned Keenland Race Course were invaded this weekend by legions of music fans for the inaugural Railbird Music Festival. Curated by the great minds at AC Entertainment who have brought us well-known festivals such as Bonnarooand the nearby Forecastle, the festival definitely has the pedigree (intentional horse pun) to be among the best festivals in the Southeast.” Read Music Fest News rundown of the weekend here.