Big Ears announces 2018 lineup

Diamanda Galas, Medeski Martin & Wood, and many avant-garde jazz acts brighten the schedule for coming year's festival

Diamanda Second Final Austin YoungDiamanda Galas plays Big Ears March 22-25, 2018.Austin Young

Big Ears, Knoxville, Tenn.'s annual gathering for adventurous music lovers, has announced its initial lineup for the upcoming 2018 festival, and once again, it is something to behold. The festival is known worldwide for being incredibly eclectic, but curators have been including more and more avant-garde jazz over the last few years.The 2018 schedule, however, may have the most jazz-friendly lineup to date. Medeski Martin & Wood will grace the stages of the beautiful Tennessee and Bijou theatres, as well as repeat performer Nels Cline and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra performing selections from his brilliant album Lovers. Other highlights include the Craig Taborn Quartet, Evan Parker's Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, AACM saxophone legend Roscoe Mitchell, Jason Moran, Rova Saxophone Quartet, percussion great Milford Graves, recent MacArthur fellowship recipient Tyshawn Sorey, and the Thing featuring Swedish free jazz saxophone player Mats Gustafsson.

Algiers and Duet For Theremin and Lap Steel have also been added to the lineup, adding some Atlanta flare to the weekend.

As the festival is usually beaming with once-in-a-lifetime collaborations, many of these unique musicians tend to play various sets, mixing and matching players and genres.

This is only a preliminary lineup, but some of the other acts, including a rare U.S. performance from Diamanda Galas, already look to be spectacular. Anoushka Shankar, Arto Lindsay, Lucius, Jenny Scheinman, Bela Fleck, Four Tet, Gas, Godspeed You! Black Emperor are also on the schedule, but stay tuned for more additions as it gets closer to festival time. View the rest of the lineup so far.

Big Ears Festival takes place in Knoxville, Tenn. at various venues from March 22-25, 2018. Tickets go on sale on Friday Nov. 3.