LOOKING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD PART 1: BIG EARS 2024
Happy New Year!
It’s the dawn of a new year and the adventure continues at Big Ears. With the festival less than 3 months away, we wanted to share four great articles and a rare and fabulous live performance clip from Hal Willner’s legendary TV show to shine a light on just a few of the very special programs in store for March 21 – 24.
Image from The New York Times
Brian Eno called him “the daddy of us all,” and, indeed it is hard to overestimate the impact that La Monte Young has had on contemporary music. Who else can claim to be no more than two degrees removed from three of the greatest icons of 20th-century modern music: Igor Stravinsky, Charlie Parker, and Lou Reed? We are honored to present, in collaboration with Blank Forms, two performances of “Just Charles & Cello in the Romantic Chord,” a composition by Young performed in a setting of the Magenta Lights by his wife, Marian Zazeela, by the renowned cello virtuoso Charles Curtis. Due to their special nature, each concert will be separately ticketed, with one on Thursday, March 21, and the other on Saturday, March 23 at Big Ears 2024. Ticket availability for festival pass-holders only will be announced in early 2024.
Jason Moran sat down with NPR’s Fresh Air to talk jazz and play selections from his latest recording, which borrows from the music of James Reese Europe, the composer and musician who led the Harlem Hellfighters regiment band during WWI. Moran’s new album is called From the Dancehall to the Battlefield, and it features Moran’s take on Europe’s compositions and pop music of that time. Originally scheduled for Big Ears 2020, Moran brings The Harlem Hellfighters to Big Ears at last on Friday, March 22.
her return with her Amaryllis sextet (including herself, Patricia Brennan, Nick Dunston, Tomas Fujiwara, Jacob Garchik, and Adam O’Farrill), on Thursday, March 21, just after the release of her new recording, “Cloudward”. Beyond that, she’s playing throughout the weekend in bands led by Myra Melford, Trevor Dunn, and Tomeka Reid, and, well…rumors abound. Stay tuned!
The spectacular operatic bass-baritone Davone Tines is reimagining and reinventing what an opera singer can be in the 21st Century. Those of you lucky enough to have heard him at Big Ears 2018, with composer/pianist Michael Schachter and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra performing “Were You There” know that his new work, Recital No. 2, is not to be missed. Nate Chinen of WRTI spoke with him earlier this year before a performance of Recital No. 1. Sunday, March 24, at Big Ears.
One of the hidden gems of 2024’s Big Ears programming will be the first performance in decades by former Lounge Lizard Evan Lurie’s fabulous bandoneon quintet, captured here in one of those exquisitely rare television moments where the genius of someone like the late Hal Willner was allowed to manifest in living rooms across the USA. That’s David Sanborn hosting; and, yes, young Marc Ribot on guitar. Violinist Jill Jaffe along with bassist Greg Cohen and bandoneon player Julien Labro round out the quintet. Sunday at Big Ears 2024.