A Year in Print and Film

Big Ears is packed with artists whose work transcends not only genres but also mediums.Two standouts in 2023 included Henry Threadgill’s extraordinary memoir, Easily Slip Into Another World, and Jon Batiste’s powerful and personal documentary, American Symphony.

Henry Threadgill

“Vietnam Changed the Way This Jazz Man Heard the World”

Henry Threadgill looks back on his storied career, including his service during the Vietnam War and brief encounters with John Coltrane and Duke Ellington, in Easily Slip Into Another World (May, 2023), a memoir written with Brent Hayes Edwards. The book is recognized as one of the best books of 2023 — and we certainly agree. You can anticipate a film and conversation as part of the festivities next year along with the various ensembles performing Threadgill’s vast work throughout the festival weekend.

Jon Batiste

“Jon Batiste Gave Us the Best Music Doc of the Year”

We’re thrilled to have Jon Batiste and his band join us at Big Ears on Sunday, March 24, for what is destined to be a triumphant and joyful close to our Big Ears 2024 weekend. For now, there’s tremendous inspiration to be had in the moving intimate documentary portrait of Batiste and partner Suleika Jaouad, American Symphony, now streaming on Netflix.

Essential Tremors: Kassa Overall

We love Essential Tremors, the podcast and radio show that interviews musicians and other creative people about the music that shaped them. And like last year, on the last Wednesday of each month leading up to the 2024 Big Ears Festival, they’re featuring an artist that will be part of our weekend.

Last week, Matt and Lee talked with drummer Kassa Overall. He’s steeped in jazz and has played with some of the greats, but he also came of age with hip-hop, and his polyglot solo work reflects a mix of those traditions. In this episode, he discusses how music by Ahmad Jamal, Digable Planets, and John Coltrane guided his art. Don’t miss this pre-eminent style bender and blender at Big Ears Festival on Saturday, March 23.

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”