Skip to content

Big Ears Festival Plots 10th Anniversary Blowout in Knoxville

Event will gather luminaries from the experimental music world, including John Zorn, Bill Frisell and Grouper
Bill Frisell (Photo: Monica Frisell)

The avant garde-leaning Big Ears festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary event on March 30-April 2, 2023 at a host of venues in Knoxville, Tenn., with a lineup drawing from the best and brightest of the adventurous music world.

Among the highlights are an eight concert, 70th birthday program centered around composer/musician John Zorn with participation from John Medeski, Bill Laswell, former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Julian Lage, while guitarist Bill Frisell will debut works with his trio and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Mivos Quartet will perform the complete string quartets of Steve Reich.

Other artists set for Big Ears include Christian McBride, Pino Palladino and Blake Mills, Calexico, Marc Ribot, Allison Russell, Los Lobos, Amadou & Mariam, Grouper, Kevin Morby, The Weather Station, The Mountain Goats, Arooj Aftab, Andrew Bird, Steve Gunn and Rickie Lee Jones. Banjo legend Bela Fleck will present a performance dubbed My Bluegrass Heart with five musicians, and jazz bassist William Parker will perform his 2021 album Mayan Space Station.

According to an analysis of Big Ears’ 2022 edition, the event represented a $36 million boost to the Knoxville and regional economy and attracted nearly 22,000 people over its four days. More than 72% of attendees came from outside Knoxville, including visitors from 47 states and 16 countries.

For more information on the festival, click here.