About

Life has taken me through many iterations in the process of defining who I am as an artist.

Alzenira Santos Amaral de Quezada, also known as (Mr.) Lady Zen, is a Brazilian born vocalist, poet, actor and composer. A scholarly mind that coined the genre of Lyric Fusion Poetry. Known internationally for their captivating performances, they are a powerhouse mezzo-soprano who masterfully delivers in the genres of soul, gospel, jazz and blues – a showman in every sense of the word.

Like many artists who grew up in the south, Lady Zen got their start in church, performing in the revival circuit. They were awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in Opera Performance from the University of Arkansas. They received a BA in Music Business Management from The Evergreen State College in 2001. In 2014 they received their MFA in Creative Writing and were recognized with a Community Service/Social Justice award from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine. Their literary work has been published in About Place Journal, Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters, and Feckless Cunt: A New Feminist Anthology.

Lady Zen has made notable appearances with TEDx Dirigo, TEDx San Miguel de Allende, and the San Miguel Writers Conference. They have shared the stage with Glenn Close & David Shaw at the 2012 Maine Center for Creativity Awards Gala. In 2014 they were included in the DapperQ Magazine List of 100 Most Stylish DapperQ’s. Selections from their photo project Queer Myths were showcased at the 2013 Butch Voices Conference.

Lady Zen has been commissioned to create original compositions by The Holocaust Museum in DC, Art Not Hate, The Institute for Civic Leadership, Creative Portland, and the Maine Chapter of the NAACP. They had the honor of composing works for Black Women’s Blueprint and the Riverside LGBTQ Gospel Choir for a ceremony honoring the founders of Black Lives Matter in 2015.

In 2019, they ventured into the realm of podcasting with the release of the audio drama, Flies in the Jar. They also co-starred in the short film, Deep Drag: The Rise of The Kung Fu Drag Queen, which premiered on the festival circuit in 2022.

Lady Zen has made notable appearances with TEDx Dirigo, TEDx San Miguel de Allende, and the San Miguel Writers Conference. They have shared the stage with Glenn Close & David Shaw at the 2012 Maine Center for Creativity Awards Gala. In 2014 they were included in the DapperQ Magazine List of 100 Most Stylish DapperQ’s. Selections from their photo project Queer Myths were showcased at the 2013 Butch Voices Conference.

Lady Zen has been commissioned to create original compositions by The Holocaust Museum in DC, Art Not Hate, The Institute for Civic Leadership, Creative Portland, and the Maine Chapter of the NAACP. They had the honor of composing works for Black Women’s Blueprint and the Harlem-based Riverside LGBTQ Gospel Choir for a ceremony honoring the founders of Black Lives Matter in 2015.

In 2019, they ventured into the realm of podcasting with the release of the audio drama, Flies in the Jar. They also co-starred in the short film, Deep Drag: The Rise of The Kung Fu Drag Queen, which premiered on the festival circuit in 2022.

In 2020, in collaboration with the former TheatreFirst in San Francisco, Lady Zen wrote and performed in their first autobiographical play-turned-short film What’s in a Name, directed by Jon Tracy. The film has won 30+ awards since its festival debut in 2021.

Most recently, they composed original music and performed as the Clown King in a production of Hamlet with Marin Shakespeare Company in July 2023. They will be returning to the stage with Marin Shakes, producing a queer arts festival in May 2024.

Lady Zen currently resides in San Miguel de Allende, where they perform often, also making regular appearances at Parker & Lenox in Mexico City, and Incanto in Puerto Vallarta. They live with their partner and their 4 cats, spending their down time gardening, decorating their home, and practicing meditation.

Press

Marin Shakes relaunches with a dynamic ‘Hamlet’ “Hamlet” Heralds New Look At Violence In Rotten State – at Marin Shakes Lady Zen: Acclaimed Jazz Vocalist at Oasis TheatreFirst’s ‘What’s in a Name’ follows one queer artist’s journey of identity Jon Tracy Celebrates Lady Zen’s Magical Memories Lady Zen’s Award-winning Film ‘What’s In A Name’ Screening at Incanto The Nine Lives of Lady Zen 10 Qs With Lady Zen Making Noise: Zen - Singer, poet, teacher, grad student… Lady
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