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Big Ears Festival 2018 Lineup Is Revealed: A Conversation With Ashley Capps

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.

Also new for 2018 is the addition of an Appalachian folk music element, including a fiddlers' convention, square dancing and more. The new addition celebrates our own unique musical heritage here in East Tennessee, which Capps says he is proud to share with festival-goers, who come from all over the world.

In this interview, Ashley Capps and WUOT's Morning Concert host and producer, Melony Dodson, talk about some of the featured artists on this year's lineup, the addition of the Appalachian celebration, and also about what the word "tradition" really means.

A complete lineup and more information about Big Ears can be found online 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.