In Memoriam|

From Ben Makinen: It is with a broken heart that I share the news of another musical giant from Denver who just passed away. Jazz Vocalist Teresa Carroll. Teresa was such a beautiful and powerful force on stage and in life who was fiercely devoted to jazz, specifically Be Bop! She swung so hard. She studied every song she sang at home on the piano before taking them to the stage. She was able to assist everyone in the band with direction through the chord changes and arrangements of the charts in her book. Teresa had studied opera during the day and jazz at night while living in New York City in the 70s. She performed with Sonny Stitt, James Moody… she even filmed a music video with drummer Philly Joe Jones! (please somebody: find this video!) I joined Teresa’s band at the Golden Hotel in 2016 (in Golden, Colorado) and for 2 years we played every Thursday night. She had a very particular concept in regards to the role of the drummer while she was singing and I enjoyed being challenged by her in a way that lifted the band to new heights while exploring challenging and overlooked gems from the great jazz composers. Her passion for finding the unusual and overlooked songs, and the exquisite beauty within them, made her a modernist despite playing in style typically associated with the 60s and 70s. Having come of age in her 20s on the stages of New York City with the big-name beboppers of the day she had a fiery take-no-prisoners approach to swingin through a song. She also had a deep knowledge and respect for natural medicine having been raised by her mostly maternal family members of the Osage tribe on the reservation in Oklahoma: growing up with her grandmother, mother, and her six other sisters and one brother and a mostly absent air force test pilot father…. I spent time at her house and in her kitchen learning some of these naturopathic recipes.  She had a wild and soulful laughter that will be missed immensely. Although she moved to Tucson from Denver a little over a year ago she and I stayed in touch and despite her battle with this illness she always kept such a positive and hopeful outlook. Teresa was always on the quest for a becoming hairstyle, experimenting with cuts and colors so for example when her hair started to fall out from chemo she simply cut it into a very fashionable short style and laughed wildly at her new look!  Teresa features prominently in my new documentary film JazzTown. This is a double whammy as I literally got off the phone w Carlos at KUVO for a taped interview on JazzTown- we spoke of Ron Miles (also in JazzTown and who just passed last week) when I received the hear breaking news that Teresa had passed. RIP GIRL! You lived it and you rocked it, and you will be terribly missed. Youtube video

Leave a Reply

Close Search Window