Boyd’s Jig & Reel is a Scottish pub in the grand tradition—a lively gathering place that celebrates the Scots-Irish heritage of our region. Offering a truly world-class selection of Scotch whiskey along with a delicious menu inspired by classic British pub cuisine, the Jig & Reel hosts nightly performances and lively jam sessions that celebrate and preserve the musical traditions of Appalachia.
During Big Ears, the Jig and Reel has been home to a variety of events—intimate concerts, exhilarating jam sessions, and engaging conversations with artists. Past events have included a fascinating chat between composer John Luther Adams and percussionist/conductor Steven Schick; late night jams featuring members of the Punch Brothers, Uncle Earl, and special guests; and a surprise pop-up performance by Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
Boyd’s Jig & Reel is the perfect spot to take a break from the whirlwind of festival activities or to wind down before a good night’s sleep.
Big Ears 2022 offers a rich array of programs at the Jig & Reel throughout the festival weekend. Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt is in residence: she talks with festival artists for her interview podcast, The Spark, and makes a set of musical performances with special guests. Legendary drummer Brian Blade performs music from his singer-songwriter project, Mama Rosa. Celtic harp virtuoso Maeve Gilchrist plays an intimate solo set. Kentucky-based guitarist and folk archivist Nathan Salsburg performs music from Psalms, his album of sacred Jewish hymns. Poet and singer Cornelius Eady—a finalist for the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize—reads and performs music from his release, Don’t Get Dead: Pandemic Folk Music.
As we get into the later evening, we’ll turn the Jig & Reel over to a different band each night—two bands each from New Orleans and East Tennessee. Thursday features the NOLA-based Aurora Nealand & The Royal Roses who draw tunes from the repertoire of Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhardt, and the traditional jazz of New Orleans. Friday features Preservation Hall Brass, the brass band out of that legendary New Orleans club. Saturday features banjo/guitar prodigy Alex Leach with his 5-piece bluegrass outfit. We close out the festival weekend on Sunday with Circus No. 9, the leading progressive bluegrass band in East Tennessee.
Of course, we do have a couple of surprise concerts planned for Boyd’s Jig & Reel as well.