Jazz Raycole plays Lyric Ballentine in TV Land's newest original sitcom, The Soul Man, premiering Wednesday, June 20, at 10pm ET/PT. The show revolves around Reverend Boyce 'The Voice' Ballentine (played by Cedric 'The Entertainer'), an R&B superstar-turned-minister who relocates to St. Louis with his family to preach in his father's church.
Born in Stockton, California, Jazz Raycole started performing at the age of 22 months. It was at her mother's dance studio that Jazz developed her onstage skills, studying an array of dance styles. She then began acting at the age of four, when her mother took her to a workshop in Beverly Hills, and quickly progressed from there. By five years old, Raycole had booked her first commercial and by age six, she had booked both her first pilot and her first movie role, appearing as Angela Bassett's daughter in the classic film Waiting to Exhale. But her big break came at the age of 13, when she won the role of Claire Kyle on ABC's hit sitcom My Wife and Kids opposite Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
After departing the show, Jazz returned to her first love: dance. She went from the Boston Ballet to the School of American Ballet, and then to a full scholarship at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she danced with the first company. During her stay at Ailey, Raycole won a spot at a company in South Carolina, where, at 16 years old, she was its youngest soloist. During these years, Jazz kept busy with multiple guest appearances on television in addition to her education, graduating two years early in the top five percent of the country's high school students.
Shortly thereafter, Jazz returned to acting full force. She has guest-starred on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Monk and Without a Trace, and has held memorable recurring roles on The Office (as Stanley's daughter), Everybody Hates Chris and Jericho. She will also appear on an episode of TNTs new drama, Perception.
Jazz continues to divide her time between acting and dancing professionally. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, painting, reading, writing and art in all forms.