Tune in to WHFR's "Spirits Rejoice" on two consecutive Tuesdays, March 12 and 19 from 7-10pm Eastern Time for 50 years of ECM RECORDS and 10 years of BIG EARS FESTIVAL. As a society we have a penchant for celebrating milestones in blocks of 10 years. In 1968 we celebrated 50 years of the Beatles White Album, in 2017 the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love and in 2019 the buzz already is 50 years of Woodstock. From March 21-24, many of us in the new music community will converge upon the city of Knoxville Tennessee to partake in the genre breaking celebration of music known as "Big Ears Festival" as they in turn celebrate the genre breaking record label known as ECM Records.

ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) Records was founded in 1969 by producer Manfred Eicher who continues to run the label today. From the initial release 'Free at Last" by jazz pianist Mal Waldron to recent recordings by Joe Lovano and Marilyn Crispell, the ECM catalog has produced over 1500 titles turning its audience on to the creative processes in jazz, classical, avant-garde and countless "genre defying" approaches to music. The history of ECM Records has championed the works of groundbreaking artists and groups alike including The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Keith Jarrett, Steve Reich, Evan Parker and many others spanning the past 50 years in creative music, including the subsidiary ECM New Series label.

The BIG EARS FESTIVAL, on a similar path, has brought live music, in a festival setting, to audience members from around the world since its inception in 2009. Founded by Ashley Capps, the festival boasts "open borders", "not only crossing boundaries but ignoring them, dancing over their graves". This year's festival will feature a celebration of ECM artists and others such as The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Harold Budd, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Nicole Mitchell, Mercury Rev, Alvin Lucier and New Music Detroit's Ian Chang. The festival which takes place March 21-24 in Knoxville, Tennessee is a one of a kind showcase of enormous proportions for lovers of jazz, free improvisation, electronic music, classical, avant-garde creative music of all types.

More information on the Big Ears Festival can be found at
big earsfestival.org
More inormation on ECM Records at