At Big Ears 2019, two of the most innovative vocalists ever—Meredith Monk and Joan LaBarbara—will take the stage. But there’s also a new generation of stunning singers represented at the festival, including New York vocalist and composer Amirtha Kidambi. Steeped in classical training, jazz, and Indian traditional music, Kidambi uses a truly powerful voice to work her way through an invented language with her quartet Elder Ones. Her voice can navigate the most delicate curls and then explode with the gathered force of the incredible band at her back. During this video for esteemed New York arts institution Roulette, you can see that process at work and listen to her explain her approach. We’re honored to have Kidambi in Knoxville, leading not only her own band but also singing Mary Halvorson’s songs in Code Girl.