Surprise! Surprise!

Surprise Shows + Donor and VIP Special Offers

We love surprises at Big Ears – and we still have many to share with you. Soon to come, we’ll be telling you about our expanded program all weekend long at the Knoxville Museum of Art, including concerts, talks, some additional films, and fascinating installations; we’re also offering a new dedicated trolley service downtown during the festival, and there will also be limited seating options available at both the Standard and The Mill & Mine. Plus, there are unique musical collaborations, pop-up performances and “secret” shows planned throughout the weekend. Each Big Ears newsletter from now until opening day – three weeks from today – will be packed with exciting – and useful – information about all of the above and more.

Our first big surprise is on Wednesday, March 20, at 7:30pm, the night before the festival…

Bill Frisell and Greg Tardy

Guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Greg Tardy will perform together live – for the first time ever as a duo – before a small, lucky audience at the studios of East Tennessee Public PBS, in a special taping of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s “Live at Lucille’s.”

Bill and Greg recorded a record together this past August – to be released soon on Newvelle Records. While their musical relationship spans decades – with Tardy being a member of at least two of Frisell’s bands and appearing on several of his records – this is their first duo recording. It was inspired by the musical rapport that emerged when Bill appeared as special guest with the KJO – which has claimed Tardy as a member since he moved to Knoxville to teach at UT several years ago – in January 2018. This concert will be the first live performance of the music that they recorded for the album.

Performance is seated / taping is limited to 90 people.

First, we want to show our deep appreciation to our Donors and VIPs, whose support for Big Ears makes the full scope of the festival’s offerings possible. We have set aside 40 tickets for you first, as a gift from us. Within the next 24 hours, you will receive an email with instructions – and a link and a code – enabling you to RSVP for your tickets. You will have a certain limited time frame in which to respond and RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis until the allotment is gone.

The remaining tickets will be offered to all Big Ears pass holders – along with subscribers to the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s concert series – on Monday, March 4 at 12 noon eastern.  You too should be on the look out for an email with a link and a code enabling you to purchase tickets for only $25. Again, quantities are very limited and will be available only on a first come, first serve basis.

The Nashville Ballet: LUCY NEGRO REDUX special performance Wednesday, March 20  7:30pm 

We were so blown away by the world premiere of the Nashville Ballet’s collaboration with poet Caroline Randall Williams and Rhiannon Giddens that we also wanted to set aside a few tickets to the Wednesday night performance for any of our Donors and VIPs who happen to be in town but can’t make the Bill Frisell / Greg Tardy show. Again, quantities are very limited but you will also soon receive a newsletter offering the opportunity to attend this performance before the official Big Ears presentation on Thursday evening.

Lucy Negro Redux is truly something special. As our Executive Director, Ashley Capps wrote elsewhere:

“It defies easy description. Beautiful, dazzling, sexy, funny, powerful, provocative… experiencing “Lucy Negro Redux” was a pure delight from beginning to end.   Based on the premise that the subject of Shakespeare’s “Dark Lady” sonnets was a black woman, the masterful poet Caroline Randall Williams penned a collection of verse in response, from the black lover’s perspective.  Enter the wonderful music of Rhiannon Giddens – performed by her live with frame drummer and pianist Francesco Turrisi – and the inspired choreography of Paul Vasterling and you have this amazing new production from the Nashville Ballet.”

It’s also a jaw-dropping, exhilarating, totally captivating – and dare we say, FUN! – experience.

Yes, we do know that many of you are not planning to arrive on Wednesday in Knoxville and will not be able to attend either of these performances There are many more special programs like this during the festival weekend –  including several unique Donor and VIP only programs.  So stay tuned as we roll out more in the coming weeks!

Knoxville, TN · USA



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