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Big Ears 2020 Initial Lineup Is Revealed: A Conversation With Ashley Capps

Big Ears Festival fans, rejoice! The 2020 initial lineup has been revealed! As in years past, additional artists are sure to be added to the roster along the way, but already, the list of musicians and composers is staggering. Ashley Capps says there are no "headline acts" per se, but there are numerous standouts. Two birthdays will be celebrated: the 75th birthday of Anthony Braxton and the 85th birthday of Terry Riley. Kronos Quartet will return to Big Ears to help with Riley's celebration, while Braxton will present the world premiere of the Thunder Music Ensemble. Bang on a Can All-Stars will collaborate in a world premiere performance of Memory Game with legendary vocalist and composer, Meredith Monk. Pulitzer prize-winning composer, Caroline Shaw, will present a solo set and will also collaborate with the experimental ensemble, So Percussion. Jazz musician, Jason Moran, will blend the sounds of ragtime and jazz with his band, The Harlem Hellfighters while Shabaka Hutchings (of "Sons of Kemet") will return to Big Ears 2020 to perform as "Shabaka and the Ancestors". 

Capps says that this year's festival also has an exciting avant-garde rock music component, including a rare performance by Annette Peacock, The Tindersticks will reunite, and Led Zeppelin bassist, John Paul Jones, will perform with cellist Anssi Karttunen in the North American premiere of their band, "Sons of Chipotle". There will be a film component as well, featuring a new collaboration between TAMIS (Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound), harpist Mary Lattimore and guitarist William Tyler (known together as "Electric Appalachia").

These artists are, of course, just the tip of the iceburg. A more complete lineup is available online at http://bigearsfestival.org Tickets go on sale on Thursday, October 10th at 12pm. Big Ears 2020 is March 26th through 29th in various venues throughout downtown Knoxville. Keep in touch with WUOT for more in-depth artist interviews to come!

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.
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