Weds., March 8, 2023,
7 – 8:30 pm,
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium,
41 Cooper Square (on Third Ave. bet. 6 & 7th Sts.),
New York, NY (see directions).
FREE. Must register.
Vienna Carroll and The Folk — whose soulful Afro-Future Roots music presents African American spirituals, work songs, and the blues through a modern lens — perform a special program honoring ordinary and extraordinary women, such as Harriet Tubman, Clara Lemlich, Big Mama Thornton, and Audre Lorde, in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Visitors must register and show security proof of (1) vaccination, or (2) a negative PCR test by a third party (no home tests) within three days of their visit to campus, or (3) a negative rapid test result taken by a third party (not home test).
A griot who mixes song, storytelling, and history, Carroll’s sound takes you back to her roots in the Black church. At the same time, her message examines American history and questions from whose perspective that history is told. Her stirring and powerful performances invite audiences to sing along in the African call-and-response tradition, adding emotional resonance to the stories shared.
Her band, The Folk, features Stanley Banks (George Benson, Esther Phillips) on bass; Washboard XT/Newman Taylor Baker (Matthew Shipp, Ebony Hillbillies, Henry Grimes) on washboard; and Keith Johnston (Jon Hendricks, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam) on guitar. Their latest album, Harlem: Afro-Future Roots, is a special collection of spirituals that honor 31 shackled-and-chained enslaved ancestors who in 1826, on a boat from Baltimore to deep south death, threw their captors overboard and escaped to freedom.
Carroll formalized her musical studies at Yale University with a B.A. in African American Studies and served as an artist-in-residence at the Hudson River Museum. She also received an 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 WBGO broadcasted, NYC’s premiere jazz station.
This performance is presented by The Cooper Union Black Student Union, Student Affairs, and Public Programs.