Big Ears Artist Conversations

Today we are sharing a few of the exciting artists conversations that will take place at Big Ears Festival 2024. Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers as well as WRTI editorial director Nate Chinen will lead many of these discussions. Kick off the festival with them as they share their must-see picks for the Big Ears weekend during their Critics’ Picks Panel!

Conversation: Kristin Hersh (Friday, 10 a.m. / Knoxville Visitors Center)

Ann Powers will kick off the many talks and panels during the Big Ears Festival weekend by chatting with Kristin Hersh who will be re-visiting her debut album, Hips and Makers, alongside Jane Scarpantoni, the original cellist on the album. 

Conversation: Composure: Darcy James Argue, Brad Mehldau, and Anna Webber (Friday, 2 p.m. / Regas Square)

Chinen dives into the essence of merging improvisational skills with composition with the likes of Darcy James Argue, Brad Mehldau, and Anna Webber.

Conversation: Guitar Radicals: Mary Halvorson, Yasmin Williams, and Anthony Pirog (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Regas Square)

Chinen will chat with Mary Halvorson, Yasmin Williams, and Anthony Pirog of the The Messthetics, three guitarists who bring such a personal touch and technique to their sound that they’re recognizable within a few bars of any tune, on their approaches to using their instruments as vessels to create unforgettably unique soundscapes.

Panel:The Song: Root, Weed and Flower: Robin Holcomb, Sam Amidon, and Alynda Segarra (Saturday, 10 a.m. / Knoxville Visitors Center)

In this panel, three remarkable songcreators—Robin Holcomb, Sam Amidon, and Alynda Segarra (Hurray for the Riff Raff)—discuss how they find songs both within themselves and from throughout music’s vast landscape.

Conversation: Laurie Anderson (Saturday, 1 p.m.)

Ann will chat with recent Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Laurie Anderson about her reknowned – and daring – creative career.

Conversation: Voices and Visions: Rhiannon Giddens & Davóne Tines (Sunday, 3:15 p.m. / Knoxville Visitors Center)

Chinen will moderate a conversation between Rhiannon Giddens and Davóne Tines about the voice as an instrument, a locus and a catalyst, and the ways in which the two have kept challenging every category they see fit to inhabit.

Echoes Podcast:Big Ears Founder Ashley Capps

Ashley Capps

Recently, Big Ears’ Founder and Artistic Director Ashley Capps sat down with Echoes radio podcast to chat about this year’s epic festival that includes Andre 3000, Herbie Hancock, Laraaji, Laurie Anderson, King Britt, and about 200 more performers.

Listen: Echoes Podcast: Big Ears Founder Ashley Capps

How To Do Big Ears

Knox News’ Liz Kellar shines a light with tips on how to make the most of your BIg Ears weekend.

Your Big Ears’ pass offers the opportunity to explore up to 200 concerts (everything except André 3000’s intimate, separately ticketed shows), so the secret is to jump and explore! There are artist conversations, films, exhibitions, workshops, and more. But heads up – festival passes of all kinds are in limited supplies and are expected to sell out before the festival weekend, so don’t risk disappointment…act now!

Read: Knoxville’s Biggest Music Festival!

*TN Theatre – Cora Wagoner

Knoxville, TN · USA



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