Teresa Carroll lives in Colorado and is a freelance Jazz musician. She started out singing at home with her family when she was young. Her parents and her grandparents helped nurture her love of music and encouraged her to continue it.
“We all have a spark, a something that makes us want to create, to make something better or to give a piece of ourselves for others. Whatever you do, don’t ignore that something. Find your creative spark and you’ll find a pathway to God, for it is He who gave us that spark,” she said.
Carroll’s family moved a lot during her childhood due to her father’s career in the United States Air force. When they were back in the U.S. they would come visit Oklahoma and her Osage family. She remembers at the age of 12 coming to spend the summer visiting her grandmother and attending the Grayhorse In-Lon- Schka. She says the time with her grandmother was very special to her.
Carroll got voice training at Ithaca College and the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City and with various vocal coaches in New York. She also sang opera in the beginning of her career and classical music. She continued singing opera for about four years when she returned to Denver and she has won many accolades, including best Opera and Jazz Singer for Westword’s “Best Of” edition.
When she lived around the corner from a Jazz club in New York she found her true calling and would sit in with other artists during their jam sessions. Carroll has worked with Jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis from New York and Philly Joe Jones, Kirk Lightsey and many others.
Carroll freelances and has no sponsors, she schedules her own shows and venues. She performs at weddings, events, concerts and festivals, as well as parties. She has several full time shows at various restaurants and hotels. She performs at Jazz festivals whenever she can. Carroll stated she would love to come to Osage County and sing for her tribal people one day.
“I feel like I am at the top of my game vocally, so I plan to keep singing as long as I can,” said Carroll. “Jazz music inspires me because it is essentially a universal language and it moves me … it is a very feeling based art form.”
Being a freelancer can be stressful at times, she said. She is her own boss and it is a lot of work to keep gigs coming in. She puts in a lot of performing in concerts and festivals and negotiates her own contracts, hiring musicians, scheduling rehearsals, and travel, and many more things that need to be done before the show.
The rewards balance out the hard times though, she said.
“It’s a joy to sing and an even greater joy to be able to make a living at it and to be recognized for it. When the music works and everybody is on, there is nothing like it in the whole world! It is an amazing feeling!”
Carroll currently has four CD’s for sale, produced by CIMP Records. She is currently working on two more, which she hopes will be released sometime soon. Her current CD’s can be found on Amazon.com and she can be heard on KUVO Denver’s Jazz Station.
Carroll recently came to visit Pawhuska and toured the Osage Tribal Museum and met Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear. She said, “I love being Osage, I am so proud of my heritage.”
Carroll is the daughter of Edward Ellison Carroll (Osage) and Delores Dossett, and granddaughter to Ruby DeNoya from the Grayhorse District and the great-granddaughter of Josephine Revard and Louis DeNoya.