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Big Ears announces first artists for 2019

Nils Frahm, the Messthetics, Mary Halvorson, and more set the tone for the coming festival

Messthetics
Photo credit: JANEL LEPPIN
THE MESSTHETICS: JOE LALLY (FROM LEFT), ANTHONY PIROG, AND BRENDAN CANTY are slated to perform at Big Ears 2019.

Before the glow from this year's spectacular music festival has even worn off, Big Ears has announced a preliminary lineup for its 2019 gathering of creative artists in Knoxville, Tenn. Founded by Ashley Capps of AC Entertainment, Big Ears offers an eclectic, adventurous musical experience, running the gamut of sound from free jazz to folk to avant-garde rock to electronic. The spirit of raw expression, of improvised collaboration is relished here. Lovers of all musical genres can rest assured they are in good hands in regard to the curation.

Next year, the festival will feature performances by German atmospheric pianist/electronic composer Nils Frahm, as well as South African guitarist Derek Gripper, Mary Halvorson's Code Girl, and the Messthetics, featuring experimental guitarist Anthony Pirog and the rhythm section of Fugazi. Atlanta sculptor/ multi-instrumentalist Lonnie Holley will also make a long-awaited return appearance. And finally, KY-based pianist and composer Rachel Grimes will present her "folk opera" The Way Forth. Let's hope she brings along the rest of her cohorts from the brilliant Rachel's ensemble. 

Stay tuned for more announcements in the upcoming months. 

Big Ears takes place at various venues in Knoxville, Tenn. from March 21-24, 2019. Tickets are now on sale online.



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