de’Adre Aziza’s Broadway debut, Passing Strange, not only garnered her critical acclaim, but earned her a 2008 Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. The show tells the story of a young African American bohemian in search of his identity, both artistically and personally. Ms. Aziza portrayed three incredibly diverse characters: a 14-year-old sassy school girl, a Dutch sexual revolutionary, and a fanatical German filmmaker.
Ms. Aziza’s journey began at age 15 when she was accepted, along with 31 other teens, into a summer acting program for high school students at New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. She also studied at the Playwrights Horizon Theater School with a focus on Classical Works.
Her involvement with Passing Strange began with a workshop at Stanford University in early 2006; she has since been involved in all incarnations of the piece, including Sundance Theater Lab and The Public Theater. In 2008, Spike Lee fell in love with the show, and collaborated with Stew and Heidi Rodewald to create an experimental hybrid of film and theater by shooting Passing Strange on stage. The film version will make its debut at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
In addition to a burgeoning acting career, Ms. Aziza has also made her mark in the world of jazz, having been named New York’s “Sexiest Jazz Vocalist” three years in a row by CD101.9 and the Department of Bermuda tourism. By winning, she earned three trips to the Bermuda Music Festival, where one year performed with Roy Ayers. She has also become the voice of the smooth jazz jingles on CD101.9.
de’Adre Aziza was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey.