MORE SURPRISES + A TREMOR WITH KURT VILE
Wondering who’s playing on which day at Big Ears 2024?
Starting today on Facebook, Instagram, and on our website at bigearsfestival.org, we’re sharing the daily lineups, one day at a time, before Single-Day Passes go on sale this coming Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Bluegrass supergroup MIGHTY POPLAR
The bluegrass world’s newest supergroup, Mighty Poplar, is a five-piece band centered around three virtuoso players from the Punch Brothers orbit — banjo player Noam Pikelny, guitarist Chris “Critter” Eldridge and original Punch Brothers bassist Greg Garrison, currently in the band Leftover Salmon. Out front as primary vocalist is Watchhouse mandolinist Andrew Marlin. Their self-titled debut has earned them a Grammy nomination for “Bluegrass Record of the Year” and we’re thrilled to welcome Mighty Poplar to Big Ears 2024.
Henry Threadgill Celebration Expands with Air (Repertory Ensemble)
Air – Henry Threagill’s celebrated trio with bassist Fred Hopkins, and drummer Steve McCall – emerged from the fertile collective of Chicago’s AACM in the mid-1970s to become one of the most thrilling ensembles of the following decade, ultimately disbanding in mid-1980s.
Shortly after we began making plans to celebrate the legacy of Henry Threadgill, the idea of an Air “repertory” band emerged. Henry himself recommended his multi-instrumentalist colleague Marty Ehrlich to step into his role in the trio, along with drummer Pheeroan AkLaff, who filled the late Steve McCall’s shoes in the last edition of Air in the mid-1980s. They turned to bassist Hilliard Greene for the big sound and creative interplay that characterized Hopkins’ work.
With Threadgill’s compositions, this dynamic trio will bring the music of Air to life at Big Ears 2023, adding a fifth dimension – with Very Very Circus and Make a Move, plus Threadgill’s own performances with Zooid and his trio with Vijay Iyer and Dafnis Prieto, to Big Ears’ presentation of Henry Threadgill’s magical musical universe.
Master drummer, percussionist, composer Ches Smith has long been a candidate for Big Ears’ Most Valuable Player award and 2024 is no exception; he’s drumming with Ceramic Dog and Secret Chiefs 3; with Trevor Dunn’s Trio + 4; and likely other surprise settings. He’ll also unveil Laugh Ash, an extended composition in multiple parts, laced with musical touchstones, from
John Zorn to Nels Cline, Mr. Bungle, Xiu Xiu, Steve, Reich, Terry Riley and beyond.
Laugh Ash is performed by an all-star ensemble, with vocalist Shara Lunon, flutist Anna Webber, clarinetist Oscar Noriega, tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, trumpeter Nate Wooley, violinist Jennifer Choi, violist Kyle Armbrust, cellist Michael Nicolas, and bassist/keyboardist Shahzad Ismaily joining Smith in this wild and riveting musical journey.
We love Essential Tremors, the podcast and radio show that interviews musicians and other creative people about the music that shaped them. Like last year, on the last Wednesday of each month leading up to the 2024 Big Ears Festival, they’re featuring an artist that will be part of our weekend.
This week, Matt and Lee talk with one of indie-rock’s most prolific voices, Kurt Vile, who we are thrilled to have make his Big Ears Festival debut next year. On this episode, he talks about how tunes by Lou Reed, the Pixies and Thelonious Monk shaped his work. He has a wonderful new record out as well, Back to Moon Beach.
REMINDER: Daily Lineups and Single-Day Passes Coming Soon
As we mentioned earlier this week, for those unable to experience all four days of Big Ears, we’ll be offering a limited quantity of single-day passes to each day of the 2024 festival. These passes will be available to purchase beginning Tuesday, December 5 at 9:00 AM Eastern.
This year, due to popular demand, Big Ears is introducing a Premier-level daily pass in addition to standard day passes. All daily passes options allow patrons access to all publicly announced events in all official Big Ears venues, subject to capacity. Similar to Premier Weekend passes, these upgraded daily passes will allow priority access to festival venues and advance notice of unannounced secret shows.
For more details, including full lineup, pass options, travel guidance, and more, head to our website or follow us on social media. We’re less than four months away and look forward to seeing you in March!