Vienna Carroll is a Griot — an actor, singer, storyteller, playwright and historian. In Folk First: Black Roots Music Vienna, accompanied by veteran players in an old time string band, celebrates African American folk music and its links to the music of contemporary artists. Her CD, Harlem Field Recordings, is scheduled for a Fall 2018 release. She sings jazz regularly in NYC venues, accompanied by Dizzy Gillespie’s Michael Howell and Sun Ra’s Bruce Edwards on guitar.
Vienna tells buried or under-reported stories of antebellum African American life, particularly freedom stories: we freed ourselves. as Artist in Residence at the Hudson River Museum, Vienna received an award for Excellence in Civil War Focused Public Programs for her original series about the extraordinary response of a Westchester, NY African American free community, The Hills, to the Civil War. She received the Audience Favorite Award from the NY International Fringe Festival for Singin Wid A Sword In Ma Han a musical docudrama she wrote and starred in, about a family escaping slavery. She conceived of and produced the First Annual NYC Underground Railroad Festival Juneteenth Celebration with the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrim, a nationally certified Underground Railroad site and the Brooklyn Historical Society, which was listed in the NY Times, sold out and was broadcast by WBGO, NYC’s premiere jazz station. In SHALLOW BROWN: Thessalonia and the Free Sailor, Vienna’s current work in progress, Thessalonia falls hard for Levi, one of the many sailors who smuggle pages sewed into their uniforms, of the radical Black self-defense manifesto, “David Walker’s Appeal”, from Boston up and down the eastern seaboard in 1829. Vienna has enjoyed residencies at the Ragdale Foundation, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Heck Family Estate. Vienna has her own natural beauty business and is an avid gardener.