Today, Big Ears unveils an array of over a dozen artists who will be joining the 2024 festival lineup, including the Grammy Award-winning Jon Batiste, a special and rare trio performance by John Medeski, Joe Russo, and Marc Ribot, and the soulful and introspective storytelling of Bonnie “Prince” Billy. These latest additions add a dynamic new element to the festival’s deepest and most diverse lineup yet, offering fans even more opportunity for sonic exploration and discovery at Big Ears 2024.

Jon Batiste, the dazzlingly gifted member of the legendary New Orleans musical Batiste dynasty, brings his irrepressible spirit to Big Ears. Having garnered five 2022 Grammy Awards (out of 11 nominations) –including Album of the Year for We Are –along with an Oscar, Golden Globe, and more for his score for Pixar’s animated film Soul, Batiste released his latest album, World Music Radio, in August and is the subject of a soon-to-be released documentary film, American Symphony. This highly anticipated film, directed by Oscar nominee Matthew Heinman, has already garnered acclaim after its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. 

Building on the festival’s celebration of Marc Ribot’s 70th birthday, the guitarist joins forces for a  rare trio performance with keyboardist John Medeski and drummer Joe Russo. In addition to his appearance with the trio, Russo will also treat festival-goers to the mesmerizing sounds of his newly formed ensemble, the Selcouth Quartet featuring Stuart Bogie, Jonathan Goldberger & Jon Shaw.

The 2024 Big Ears adventure expands further with the soulful and introspective storytelling of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, the powerful folk resistance of Leyla McCalla, the jewel-cut lyrics of Jana Horn, and a performance from Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses fame in celebration of the 30th anniversary of her beloved solo record, Hips and Makers. She’ll be joined by cellist Jane Scarpatoni – her musical foil on the original recording. 

Co-founder of the Lounge Lizards Evan Lurie is set to perform with his quintet featuring the enchanting sounds of the bandoneon. They will present a rare performance of the contemporary chamber music masterpiece Selling Water by the Side of the River

The Chinese American pipa master Min Xiao-Fen collaborates with River Guerguerian for a program of original live scores to Chinese silent film classics Romance of the Fruit Peddler and Romance of the Western Chamber;  Grammy award-winning multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi presents a program of solo piano; and Paul Lazar performs the critically acclaimed spoken-word and movement solo Cage Shuffle based on texts from composer John Cage with choreography by Annie-B Parson. 

Rounding out the additions, the duo of prolific new age artist Laraaji and world-renowned tabla player Suphala perform a program of ambient and world music blending celestial sounds and rhythmic beats as part of the King Britt-curated Blacktronika program; Slauson Malone 1 (the musical project and performance piece of Jasper Marsalis) explores the intersections of pop music and performance art; and Ka Baird weaves together experimental electronic and folk elements into a captivating sonic tapestry. 

All of these artists will contribute to the already dynamic and exciting schedule of nearly 200 performances throughout downtown Knoxville’s historic theaters, churches, nightclubs, and galleries. The full lineup of artists and programs can be found at, with new additions and details found each week in the festival’s newsletter.

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