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A Big Ears interview with eighth blackbird

The Chicago-based chamber group, eighth blackbird, combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band, and the staging of a theatre company. This energetic, four-time Grammy award-winning sextet celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016 and also celebrates being awarded the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.  eighth blackbird has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet." 

Morning Concert host, Melony Dodson, spoke with cellist Nicholas Photinos and learned a little more about how the group was formed, what their "mission" is, and also talked about some of the projects they are working on. Additionally, Nicholas gives an inside look on the music that they will be presenting at the festival.

eighth blackbird is presenting two sets at Knoxville's Big Ears Festival.  The first set is Friday, April 1st at 7pm at the TN Theatre and their 2nd set is immediately after at 10pm, but given in a new venue for the festival: The Sanctuary. More information about the Big Ears Festival can be found at bigearsfestival.com

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.