Isaac grew up in upstate New York and was taught a love of music at a very young age. The son of a folk musician, he was brought up hearing the musical traditions of Scotland, Ireland, and Appalachia. He began studying music in the Yamaha method at age 3 and studied classical piano music through elementary school. Switching to jazz at the age of 12, he attended NYU as a music student where he studied with Arturo O’Farrill, Frank Kimbrough, Joel Weiskopf, Philip Johnston, and Justin DelloJoio. He also earned a second degree in mathematics.
Since college, has peformed with Chris Elam and the Misnomer Dance Theatre, the Johaness Wieland Dance Company, 2nd Avenue Dance Company, and PhaithMoves. He has performed for Pervez Musharraf, Hillary Clinton, and the Presiding Bishop of the United States. His work has been called “exquisite and evocative” by NYTheatre and “compassionate and brusquely humorous” by the New York Press.
Isaac has an interest in sacred music of all types and has done extensive work in experimental liturgy. He spent two years as the musical director of St. Paul’s Chapel, the focal point of all the relief efforts at Ground Zero fame, and was awarded NYU’s President’s Service Award for his work in the weeks following September 11th. Isaac is a company member of Storahtelling: Jewish Ritual Theater Revived and is currently the Artist-in-Residence at Church of the Epiphany where he performs his experimental “mass with a beat” series.