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Introducing Fall 3Arts/Bodies of Work Fellow Tommy Carroll

Tommy Carroll

Chicago-based drummer / percussionist / bandleader, Tommy Carroll (he/him), is a 3Arts/BOW Resident Fellow for the fall of 2022! He identifies as totally blind and endeavors to create a soundtrack to a more inclusive world. “I want to empower, not inspire,” Tommy says. “I want to create art that celebrates the important perspectives and skills disabled people offer to society.”

Performing nationally with rock bands, jazz combos, rappers, and singers of everything from bluegrass to soul, the Chicago Reader described him as a “workhorse drummer.” Tommy also leads Calculated Discomfort, an eight-piece jazz group performing his original compositions, and Prosthetic, an improvising jazz fusion trio.

During his 3Arts residency, Tommy hopes to explore the tension between being a professional musician with a disability and a disabled artist invested in creating disability culture. “I have managed to develop a platform based on my drumming, bandleading, and contributions to projects around Chicago, but the wider public doesn't always comprehend or engage with the disability aspect of my work,” he explains. On a more individual level, Tommy plans to develop the recording and production of Dances for Different Bodies, Vol. II, an album that musically and politically explores these themes more deeply.