Bio

Vienna Carroll

It’s the fire in her belly that lights up the fire in your soul.  Vienna Carroll's folksy blues and soulful funk take you back to church, back to the roots.  The passion in her voice and her masterful storytelling fill a room, draw you in and hold you close. Vienna's larger-than-life performances channel influences from Ray Charles, Dinah Washington and her great-grandmother Susie Stokes' Wheatfield Church of the Living God. 

Her first album, “Singin Wid A Sword in Ma Han” reprised tunes from her award-winning play of the same name in collaboration with Newman Taylor Baker (Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Henry Grimes) on spoons, pots and other percussion. 

Vienna's second album was a live recording of an evening celebrating Blues and Roots music at NYC’s famous Living Room and featured Newman Taylor Baker on washboard, Michael O’Brien (Harry Connick Jr., Ruben Blades) on bass, Melanie Dyer (Joe Bonner, Reggie Workman) on viola and Keith Johnston(Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Jon Hendricks) on guitar. 

Her newly released CD “Harlem Field Recordings”, is a collection of spirituals, blues and work songs which highlight the continuum between our earliest music and the music of today.  It features Vienna on vocals, Stanley Banks (George Benson) on bass, Newman Taylor Baker, Keith Johnston, and a host of guests including Nioka Workman (Anthony Braxton, David Murray) on cello, Melanie Dyer, and Henrique Prince (Ebony Hillbillies, Sun Ra Arkestra) on violin.  

Vienna's latest musical project in development, “This is Harlem Country,” includes stories that highlight sea shanties and rare spirituals, songs in whose bosom all of American music rests.  She will continue to work with her stellar string band. 

Other projects: “SHALLOW BROWN,” about Black sailors and the Underground Railroad and featured at the First Langston Hughes Playwright Showcase in Harlem NY, May 2019.  “The Hills” an award-winning series about the heroism of a free Black NY community during the Civil War as Resident Artist at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY.  The "First NYC Underground Railroad Festival Juneteenth Celebration” held at Brooklyn's Plymouth Church of the Pilgrim, a certified Underground Railroad stop.  “Singin Wid A Sword In Ma Han,” a musical docudrama about a family escaping slavery (NYC Fringe Festival Audience Favorite Award). 

Vienna is a NYFA/NYSCA Artist Fellow in Music/Sound.