Evan Parker Solo / Ensemble / Rocket Science

“I heard music of strength and intensity to mark me for life… I came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music…”  – Evan Parker (after hearing the Cecil Taylor Trio in NYC, 1962)

This year, Big Ears is proud to host saxophonist Evan Parker and the trumpeter Peter Evans, two remarkable artists whose boundless creative imaginations have led them to extend and transcend the traditional limitations of their instruments, defying conventions, “if not the laws of physics,” as The New York Times has suggested. 

Evan Parker is the “saxophone colossus” of the avant-garde. For 50 years — and on hundreds of recordings — he has explored every possibility of his tenor and soprano saxophones, developing an entirely new lexicon of techniques and strategies. He is — quite simply — one of the most vital instrumentalists and improvisers on the planet. 

Big Ears 2018 will mark Parker’s first performances in the USA since 2014 and we’re making the most of it. Parker will lead two very different ensembles – each comprised of world class collaborators:

Rocket Science — a quartet with trumpeter Peter Evans and keyboardist Craig Taborn, with Sam Pluta providing computer electronics. Big Ears will mark the group’s second US performance ever.

van Parker’s Electro-acoustic Ensemble — also rarely heard in the USA — will include Evans, Taborn, and Pluta, along with cellist Okkyung Lee, woodwind player Ned Rothenberg, and the computer electronics of Ikue Mori.

Last, but certainly not least, Big Ears attendees will have the extraordinary opportunity to witness one of Evan Parker’s legendary SOLO concerts. As critic Steve Lake writes, “There is, still, nothing else in music — jazz or otherwise — that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert.”

Knoxville, TN · USA



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