We’re pleased to announce Big Ears broadest ever array of talks and panels. It’s our distinct hope that these conversations will add insight and context to performances at the 2022 festival. We’ve enlisted journalists, scholars, and fellow artists to moderate what promises to be a rich and compelling series of events.

Times and locations for panels and conversation, as well as additional special events, will be announced in the coming weeks.

Author, journalist, and editor Marcus J. Moore (New York TimesThe NationRolling Stone) has curated a special set of one-on-one conversations during the festival weekend featuring L’RainDawn RichardAmbrose AkinmusireMoses SumneySaul Williams, and Sudan Archives; as well as a panel with a trio of leading musicians from the Chicago scene: Damon LocksAngel Bat Dawid, and Ben LaMar Gay.

Music critic and correspondent Ann Powers will moderate a chat with Jason Moran and Joe Henry, as well as a roundtable with Bonny Light Horseman (Anaïs MitchellEric D. Johnson, and Josh Kaufman).

WBGO editorial director and NPR Music contributor Nate Chinen will host a conversation with Kris Davis and Julian Lage.

In addition, Moore, Powers, and Chinen will take part in a top-of-the-festival what-not-to-miss critics roundtable.

Scholar and author Laurent Dubois, a specialist on the history and culture of the Caribbean, will moderate a conversation with leading Haitian-American musicians Nathalie Joachim and Leyla McCalla, and another with bandleaders Richard A. Morse of Haiti’s RAM and Ben Jaffe of New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Dubois will also will convene a roundtable of Ned SubletteLily KeberRayna Russom, and Pedrito Martinez following the premiere of Sublette’s film Tierra Sagrada. Finally, Dubois will host a book reading with Marc Ribot for Ribot’s acclaimed memoir Unstrung: Rants and Stories of a Noise Guitarist.

Music journalist Grayson Haver Currin (Pitchfork, NPR and New York Times) will convene a panel with string players William TylerNathan SalsburgMary Lattimore, and Marisa Anderson.

Violist and host of the Living Music podcast, Nadia Sirota, talks with composer Ellen Reid about SOUNDWALK, as well as composer Tristan Perich and organist James McVinnie about Perich’s new piece for organ and electronics, Infinity Variant.

Singer-songwriter and host of The Spark podcast, Tift Merritt, sits down for conversations with poet Nikky Finney and composer / performer Caroline Shaw.

Finally, Lance Ledbetter who runs the groundbreaking archival label Dust-to-Digital, and Nathan Salsburg, who oversees the Alan Lomax Archive, discuss their work engaging with essential music recorded decades ago.

Knoxville, TN · USA



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