Annual Knoxville, TN festival Big Ears returns in 2018 from March 22-25 and the first round of artists has been announced. As always, it's a unique and impressive lineup. Highlights include Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Diamanda Galas, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Jenny Hval, Juana Molina, Julie Byrne, Kelly Lee Owens, Gas, Four Tet, Laurel Halo, Lightning Bolt, Arto Lindsay, Nels Cline, Algiers, Rostam, Sam Amidon, Steve Gunn, Suuns, Jaga Jazzist, Kid Koala, Bang on a Can All Stars, Bela Fleck, Innov Gnawa, Susanna, and more. Weekend passes are on sale now.

Bang on a Can All Stars are celebrating their 30th anniversary at the festival, and will perform works by David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe.

Nels Cline will be performing the music of his 2016 album Lovers with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and guests. Nels Cline also performs with Jenny Scheinman, who is playing her 2012 album Mischief & Mayhem, which Nels recorded with her.

Bela Fleck is performing two sets, one with Abigail Washburn and one with Brooklyn Rider.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Susanna (aka Norwegian singer/songwriter Susanna Wallumrød) are both playing the festival, and Bonnie "Prince" Billy just announced that he is releasing a full cover album of Susanna's 2007 LP Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos (due 11/17 via Drag City). Susanna, who has a 2014 collaborative album with Jenny Hval (who's also playing Big Ears), also announced her own new album, Go Dig My Grave, which features covers of Joy Division, Lou Reed, and traditional folk songs (due 2/9).

Listen to Bonnie "Prince" Billy's cover of Susanna's "People Living" and the title track of Susanna's Go Dig My Grave:

Here's the initial 2018 Big Ears Festival lineup:

Abigail Washburn & Wu Fei
Aine O'Dwyer performs William Eggleston’s “Musik”
Anna & Elizabeth
Anna Thorvaldsdottir: “In The Light Of Air” performed by International Contemporary Ensemble
Anoushka Shankar: “Land of Gold”
Arto Lindsay
Bang on a Can All Stars celebrate their 30th anniversary with works by David Lang, Michael Gordon and Julia Wolfe
Bang on a Can All Stars perform Julia Wolfe's "Anthracite Fields"
Bang on a Can All Stars “Field Recordings”
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Béla Fleck & Brooklyn Rider
Bonnie “Prince” Billy
"Brimstone & Glory" live score performed by Nief-Norf and Wordless Music
Brooklyn Rider
Cleek Schrey & David Behrman
Craig Taborn Quartet
Cyro Baptista & The “Banquet of the Spirits”
Cyro Baptista presents “Vira Loucos”
Diamanda Galás
Duet for Theremin & Lap Steel
Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble
Four Tet
GAS (Wolfgang Voigt)
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Innov Gnawa
International Contemporary Ensemble
Jaga Jazzist
Jaga Jazzist featuring Ståle Storløkken & Jon Balke
Jason Moran Duo with Milford Graves
Jason Moran presents Fats Waller Dance Party
BANGS (Jason Moran, Mary Halvorson and Ron Miles)
Jenny Hval
Jenny Scheinman presents “Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait”
Jenny Scheinman's “Mischief & Mayhem” with Nels Cline & Scott Amendola
Juana Molina
Julie Byrne
Kelly Lee Owens
Kid Koala's “Satellite” Turntable Orchestra
Knoxville Symphony Strings performs “Were You There” with baritone Davone Tines
Laurel Halo (Live with Eli Keszler)
Lightning Bolt
Medeski Martin & Wood
Milford Graves
Nels Cline: “Lovers” with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and guests
Peter Evans Ensemble
Rocket Science (Peter Evans, Sam Pluta, Craig Taborn, Evan Parker)
Roscoe Mitchell Trios
Rova: “The Sound in Space Project”
Rova Channeling Coltrane: “Electric Ascension”
Sam Amidon
Steve Gunn
Stian Westerhus
“Go Dig My Grave” featuring Giovanna Pessi, Frode Haltli, Cheyenne Mize and Susanna
Tal National
The Black Twig Pickers
The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitanda performed by The Sai Anantam Ashram Singers
The Jerry Douglas Band
The Thing
Tyshawn Sorey Trio

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