Big Ears Festival

John Schaefer was in town for the Big Ears Festival.  He sat down with Todd Steed to talk about the festival and the future of new music and radio. 

Knoxville's Big Ears Festival is a music celebration like none other, bringing contemporary classical, folk, rock, r&b, and much more to East Tennessee, captivating audiences both local and from abroad. In this feature, Garrett McQueen speaks with some of this year's artists, and explores conversations surrounding the tradition of music from Appalachia, how the tradition of string quartets inform new music, and the intersection of music and activism. 

The name says it all.  Perhaps not.  Scott Burland and Frank Schultz sit down with Todd Steed to discuss their unique musical partnership and their upcoming Big Ears performances. 

Violinist and composer, Jenny Scheinman, possesses a unique and rare ability to play any style of music. Whether it's classical, folk, rock, or jazz or singing any of the songs she's written, Jenny frequently collaborates with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Ani Difranco, and Nels Cline.

At Big Ears 2018, she will present two performances. One, with her band, Mischief and Mayhem, which combines modern classical and jazz with rock and roll. This fusion band performs on Friday from 6:30-7:30 at The Standard.

The music of legendary and influential American composer, Julia Wolfe, has been described by the Wall Street Journal as: "long inhabiting a terrain of its own, a place where classical forms are recharged by the repetitive patters of minimalism and the driving energy of rock."

She, along with composers Michael Gordon and David Lang, formed the Bang on a Can organization in 1987, which will be in residence at this year's Big Ears Festival, which takes place in various venues throughout downtown Knoxville, March 22-25.

niefnorf.org

Nief-Norf, an internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble based here in Knoxville, will once again present a couple of performances at the Big Ears Festival, which takes place in various venues throughout downtown Knoxville March 22-25.  

John Tarrant will be in Knoxville as part of the Big Ears Festival.  He sits down to talk with Todd Steed about his work with Zen koans. 

Big Ears Preview Podcast

Mar 16, 2018

Melony, Garrett and Todd take a quick look at some of their favorite performers coming to this year's Big Ear Festival.

It's finally here--the release of the Big Ears Festival's 2018 lineup. Festival attendees will once again be transported to another world, filled with music, film, and art that's refreshing to the ears, the eyes, and the mind. The festival will, once again, take place over the span of four days (March 22-25) in most of the same downtown Knoxville venues as last year's event.  What is different is the focus on jazz and its subgenres, says Big Ears artistic director Ashley Capps.

Cellist, Oliver Coates, is equally at home performing the music of Shostakovich and of Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead. An incredibly versatile musician, Coates will perform two sets at this year's Big Ears Festival. One concert will present some of his favorite classical compositions, while on the other, he will perform two of his own albums, including his newest record, Upstepping, which fuses together elements of techno and classical.

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