Daily Lineups Revealed!

Today we reveal our daily lineups for Big Ears 2020 – an overview of the artists and programs scheduled for each day of the festival weekend.

As you can see, many artists are playing different programs spanning two or more days of the festival weekend. Patti Smith will present her “Words and Music” acoustic program on Thursday night and perform with Her Band on Friday. Terry Riley will perform solo; in duo with his son, guitarist Gyan Riley; and with Kronos Quartet – and there are at least a couple of additional events being discussed to help celebrate his 85th journey around the sun. Anthony Braxton’s 75th birthday year celebrations will feature a rare solo saxophone performance as well as a show with his Diamond Curtain Wall Trio. Braxton will also present the world premiere of his Thunder Music Ensemble.

Speaking of world premieres, Meredith Monk will present two – “Memory Game,” her collaboration with Bang On A Can All-Stars as well as an intimate duo performance with master percussionist John Hollenbeck. Former Led Zeppelin bassist / keyboardist John Paul Jones will present his collaboration with cellist Anssi Kartunnen, Sons of Chipotle, as well as an improvised solo performance on piano, mandolin, and electronics. Guitarist Marc Ribot will perform a solo program of the works of his mentor, Frantz Casseus, “the father of Haitian classical guitar,” as well as a first time duo performance with master drummer Andrew Cyrille. Ribot will also join Haitian rara band Minwi Sonnen and Joe Henry’s 115th Dream at the festival. Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann will play solo as well as in duet with Andrew Cyrille. The Necks will present two special performances – and – Caroline Shaw, Jason Moran, Zeena Parkins, Chris Abrahams, Kim Myhr, Ingar Zach, and others will perform solo concerts in addition to other programs. Paul Lazar, Sxip Shirey, Anssi Karttunen, Nief Norf, Ensemble Dal Niente with Ken Vandermark and others will also be performing throughout the weekend.

Remember: we anticipate a handful of new artists additions and more special programs to come, so be on the lookout for upcoming announcements.

Also, please keep in mind that circumstances beyond our control may sometime necessitate changes in the schedule. We’ll keep you informed should anything change.


The detailed schedule outlining performance times and venues for all shows will be announced later, most likely in late February or early March.


As we mentioned last week, we WILL be making a very limited number of single day passes available.   Details will be announced next Tuesday Jan. 21 in our newsletter. These passes will be General Admission only.  We will not be able to offer Premier or Sonic Explorer options for single days.   

Big Ears 2020 is only two and a half months away.  More details coming soon.


Knoxville, TN · USA



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