Tony and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Serves as Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

André De Shields boards the 6:45 A.M. train to Baltimore at New York Penn Station on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields was the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto parade held on August 31.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Sponsored by the Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Upton Planning Committee, Inc. and organized by Michael Johnson, the Parade kicked off the second day of the inaugural Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival, marking the 99th anniversary of Pennsylvania Avenue and honoring Holiday’s legacy.


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields led the parade in an antique 1976 light blue Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Highlights of the Parade included classic and high-end cars and performances by Lincoln University’s and Morgan State University’s marching bands and dance troupes along the route down Pennsylvania Avenue beginning at North Avenue and ending at Dolphin Street.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Corvette in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Cadillac in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Lincoln University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Dance Troupe. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown star and Baltimore native returned to his hometown just two weeks after receiving the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young, who was also in attendance. De Shields and Mayor Young were presented with Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards.

Main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields received Bille Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Pennsylvania Avenue was the place to be to see the latest singers and musicians perform. Many jazz clubs and performance halls in the area, notably the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue, were part of the Chitlin’ Circuit where African American entertainers, such as Redd Foxx, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown, could perform freely in a segregated America. The Royal Theater has since been torn down, but its spirit lives on in the community and at The Avenue Bakery where its history is recounted through murals and plaques on the walls. Source: historicupton.com

In July, the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor of West Baltimore became the city’s fourth state-designated arts district. The program will offer incentives to spur economic development in the neighborhood according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. Resources available in Maryland Arts and Entertainment Districts include property tax incentives for buildings entirely or partially renovated for use by artists or for entertainment purposes.

Councilman Eric Costello, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, André De Shields and Kevin Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, District 44 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, City Council President Brandon Scott, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, André De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett, District 7, Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Holton, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Jules Dunham-Howie, Director Upton-Westside CDC, Helen Holton, Host, City Council President Brandon Scott, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Andre De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, District 7, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, Commissioner Harrison, Baltimore Police Department, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival and City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
Beverly A. Cooper and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz,Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty(Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

André De Shields with Kevin Brown at Nancy by SNAC in Baltimore. Photo by Lia Chang

After the parade, De Shields headed to lunch at Kevin Brown’s Nancy by SNAC  before taking the Acela back to New York.

Lia Chang and Andre De Shields. Photo by Kevin Brown

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Serves As Grand Marshal Of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s