Well, it's that time of year again. The time that fans of avant garde music from all over the world anxiously await: the reveal of the lineup for Knoxville's Big Ears Festival. Rolling Stones magazine has called Big Ears "America's biggest avant garde party", while The New Yorker writes that: "The sounds are the stars, free of the tyranny of categories." It's hard to describe this one-of-a-kind festival that celebrates innovation, creativity, and expression through music, film, and art.
The Chicago-based chamber group, eighth blackbird, combines the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band, and the staging of a theatre company. This energetic, four-time Grammy award-winning sextet celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2016 and also celebrates being awarded the 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. eighth blackbird has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet."