The musical tells the captivating story of musical genius Billy Strayhorn as he navigates a world rife with homophobia and racism: We see him develop relationships with jazz legends Duke Ellington and Lena Horne as well as his romantic partner for several years, Aaron Bridgers. Nominated for 8 awards, WHEN JAZZ HAD THE BLUES won in 3 categories: Best Musical Direction, Best Ensemble Cast and Best Set Design. Its initial production was at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 27th annual theatre awards ceremony was held February 26th at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. The mission of the NAACP Theatre Awards is to entertain, educate and inspire as well as create diversity in the arts and entertainment industry.