The Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee, has announced its expanded 2020 lineup, which will include a headlining set from punk godmother Patti Smith and her band, who will play and participate in the literary program.
Attendees can also expect performances by the Bell Orchestre, Che Apalache, D. Scot Williams, plus 100+ other shows, as well as films and literary events.
The three-day fest (March 26-29) focused on the avant garde, unexpected and surprising, will pay tribute to the 100th anniversary of the invention of the Theremin, with Rob Schwimmer, a master of the eerie instrument leading a trio featuring pianist Uri Caine and violinist Mark Feldman in a 20th anniversary celebration of their album Theremin Noir.
Montreal’s Bell Orchestre, featuring Arcade Fire members Sarah Neufeld and Richard Reed Parry, will make their Big Ears debut, while Chicago chamber group Ensemble Dal Niente will be joined by sax master Ken Vandermark as they perform music written for them by Roscoe Mitchell.
Other first-timers include Pakistani singer/composer Arooj Aftab’s Vulture Prince Ensemble, mezzo-soprano folk singer Josephine Foster, composer/percussionist John Hollenbeck, a solo performance from Múm cellist and singer Gyda Valtysdottir and cellist D. Scot Williams playing solo music by Hindemith, Crumb and Overall, according to a press release.
Click here for more information on the event, which takes place in a walkable radius of downtown Knoxville in a range of ornate theaters, refurbished industrial spaces, art galleries, churches and clubs.
See the full announced lineup below:
75 Dollar Bill
A Winged Victory for the Sullen
Arooj Aftab’s Vulture Prince Ensemble
Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Ben Lamar Gay Quartet
D. Scot Williams
Damo Suzuki Network with the Sound Carriers
Dan Weiss Starebaby
Daniel Pioro & Valgeir Sigurðsson
Diamond Curtain Wall Trio
Electric Appalachia (William Tyler, Mary Lattimore, Eric Dawson of TAMIS)
Ensemble Dal Niente + Ken Vandermark
Jaimie Branch’s Fly or Die
Jason Moran & the Harlem Hellfighters
Jeff Parker and the New Breed
Joe Henry’s 115th Dream
Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society
mssv (Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges, Mike Watt)
Myra Melford’s Snowy Egret
MZM (Miya Masaoka, Zeena Parkins, Myra Melford)
Nadah El Shazly
Paul Lazar’s Cage Shuffle
Sam Gendel Concert Group
Shabaka and the Ancestors
Sons of Chipotle (John Paul Jones & Anssi Karttunen)
Sound for Andy Warhol’s KISS (Kim Gordon, Bill Nace, Steve Gunn, John Truscinski)
Steve Coleman and Five Elements
The Claudia Quintet
The Haden Triplets
Theremin Noir (Rob Schwimmer, Uri Caine, Mark Feldman)
Thunder Music Ensemble