The name Nayo (pronounced Nī-yō) is derived from West Africa and means “We have Joy”. Her mom fell in love with the uniqueness of the name and its translation.
Nayo was born and raised in Detroit Michigan and comes from a long line of artists. Her grandfather starred opposite the legendary Lena Horne as Chick Bailey in Stormy Weather. He also participated in the Motown Cast Recording of Guys and Dolls AND enjoyed fame in Europe performing with the "Follies Bergere" out of Paris. Her grandmother, Vivian, began performing as a child with her younger sister and their childhood friend. They were know as the Dandridge Sisters. Her grandmother went on perform as a singer in clubs all over the world, she also did film, television, radio and voiceover work. She even recorded an album titled "The Look Of Love". As a child, her dad appeared in the movie "Bright Road" which starred her grandaunt, Dorothy Dandridge. Many people know Dorothy from the critically acclaimed film Carmen Jones and as the first African American woman nominated for an Oscar for Best Leading Actress. Dorothy made several movies and paved the way for every woman of color acting today. Nayo's great grandmother, Ruby Dandridge, was a regular on the radio show "Amos & Andy", was a recurring character on the "Beulah Show" with Hattie MacDaniel and performed in numerous films as well.
The passion for acting was certainly handed down. Nayo has worked in TV, film, voice over and on the Broadway stage. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her furry baby Cody “Snack Attack” Jenkins III :)