The Big Ears Festival has announced the line-up for its 10th anniversary running to take place in venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, March 30–April 2, 2023, including Devendra Banhart, Sam Gendel, Mary Halvorson, Makaya McCraven, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
The Big Ears Festival has announced the line-up for its 10th anniversary running to take place in venues throughout downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, March 30–April 2, 2023, including several artists familiar to readers of the Nonesuch Journal: Devendra Banhart, Sam Gendel, Mary Halvorson, Makaya McCraven, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
Devendra Banhart returns to Big Ears after his 2019 performance featuring songs from his album Ma. This is "sublimely understated, border-blurring folk rock," the Los Angeles Times said of the album. "Banhart's singular world remains as intoxicating as ever," says Q. "It feels as if all of human life is here."
Sam Gendel will take part in three events at Big Ears next year: his duo with Sam Wilkes, Sam Gendel Concert Group with Gabe Noel and Phil Melanson, and Pino Palladino and Blake Mills. Gendel released two albums on Nonesuch in 2020: Satin Doll, a futuristic homage to historical jazz, with Noel on electric bass and Melanson on electronic percussion, which the Los Angeles Times called "a woozy, blissfully twisted album”; and DRM, on which Gendel performs solo musical experiments with vintage instruments accompanied by his voice.
Brooklyn-based guitarist, composer, and MacArthur fellow Mary Halvorson performs her two Nonesuch debut albums, Amaryllis and Belladonna, with the performers featured on the albums: Mivos Quartet on both, joined for Amaryllis by trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, drummer Tomas Fujiwara, bassist Nick Dunston, trombonist Jacob Garchik, and vibraphonist Patricia Brennan. The two suites, which Halvorson describes as “modular and interlocking,” were called "some of the most accomplished writing of Halvorson’s meteoric career" by Jazziz. Halvorson also takes part in two of Big Ears’ celebrations of John Zorn’s 70th birthday: Bagatelles, Pt. 2, and Cobra, with Bill Frisell and others.
Mivos Quartet, in addition to the concerts with Halvorson, leads its own program of the Complete Steve Reich Quartets: Different Trains, Triple Quartet, and WTC 9/11, all of which were written for and first recorded by Kronos Quartet.
Percussionist, producer, and composer Makaya McCraven will present his new album, In These Times, due out later this month on International Anthem/Nonesuch/XL Recordings. It’s the album McCraven’s been trying to make since he started making records, an appropriately career-defining body of work. The eleven-song suite was created over seven-plus years, as McCraven strived to fuse odd-meter compositions from his working songbook with orchestral, large-ensemble arrangements and the edit-heavy “organic beat music” he’s honed over the years. With contributions from over a dozen musicians and creative partners from his tight-knit circle of collaborators—including Jeff Parker, Junius Paul, Brandee Younger, Joel Ross, and Marquis Hill—In These Times highlights McCraven’s unique gift for collapsing space, destroying borders, and blending past, present, and future into poly-textural arrangements of post-genre, jazz-rooted 21st-century folk music.
Singer/songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant made her Nonesuch Records debut earlier this year with the release of Ghost Song. The New York Times calls it "her most revealing and rewarding album yet." Uncut says she is "one of the most daring and resourceful vocalists in jazz—or any other genre, for that matter." The Arts Desk exclaims: "The treasure trove of marvels that is Ghost Song exceeds all expectations."
For the complete Big Ears line-up, including The Bad Plus, Iron & Wine, Christian McBride, and Edgar Meyer, among others, and to purchase weekend passes, visit bigearsfestival.org.
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