Nate Chinen’s Favorite Albums Of 2018

Here’s another surprising and wonderful year-end list from the critic who wrote one of our guiding tomes to music in 2018, New York Times alum and NPR scribe Nate Chinen. Three Big Ears 2019 artists—Ambrose Akinmusire, Mary Halvorson, and Makaya McCraven—land in his Top 10 alongside the likes of Kacey Musgraves and Wayne Shorter. “The whole project is at once a departure and an extension; impressive either way,” he writes of Halvorson’s Code Girl, a sentence that feels like it captures the essence of the list itself. And we continue to recommend Nate’s great book, Playing Changes.

Read more here.

Knoxville, TN · USA



Explore the lineup of upcoming Big Ears performances.


Discover travel, lodging, & dining options to enhance your festival experience.


Big Ears is made possible by the passion & generosity of our supporters.


Learn more about what The New York Times calls “one of the world’s greatest music bashes.”