Big Ears Festival has revealed the initial slate of eclectic artists coming to Knoxville, TN March 30th–April 2nd, 2023. The tenth-anniversary festival will take place at 12 venues throughout Knoxville and feature one-of-a-kind collaborations, tributes, and artists from around the globe.
Topping the initial 2023 Big Ears lineup are Amadou & Mariam, The Bad Plus, Devendra Banhart, Andrew Bird, Grouper, Ibeyi, Iron & Wine, Vijay Iyer, Rickie Lee Jones, Charles Lloyd, Los Lobos, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride’s New Jawn, The Mountain Goats, Pino Palladino & Blake Mills ft. Sam Gendel & Abe Rounds, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Antonio Sánchez & Bad Hombre, Nate Smith + Kinfolk, Makaya McCraven, and Tyshawn Sorey.
The festival will also present an array of special programming including a Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart set featuring Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz, and Bryan Sutton. Other highlights include the North American premiere of guitarist Bill Frisell and his trio with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, as well as an eight-show celebration of composer John Zorn‘s 70th birthday, which will include a rare appearance by his Painkiller trio with bassist/producer Bill Laswell and former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
“The spirit of Big Ears—its heart and soul—is deeply rooted in the essential role of art and culture in developing a strong community,” founder and Executive Director Ashley Capps said. “We are here to celebrate the creative spirit—to find inspiration in tradition while embracing change and innovation. We are continually inventing and reinventing ourselves year after year with a steadily expanding audience that shares that ideal, that spirit and vision.”
Also on tap for Big Ears, which returned in 2022 after taking two years off due to the pandemic, are 700 Bliss, Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul, Reid Anderson, Bonny Light Horseman, Gatos Du Sol, Steve Gunn, Sierra Hull, Sierra Ferrell, Ava Mendoza, David Moore, Kevin Morby, Allison Russell, Son Lux, Adia Victoria, The Weather Station, and more.
Tickets for Big Ears Festival 2023 go on sale on Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET.