Musician & Educator

Saxophone | Clarinet | Flute

JAMES ISAAC has been teaching and performing music professionally in the Kansas City area for over twenty-five years. He earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and his Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music.

Throughout his career, James has enjoyed playing different styles of music. He is a founding member of the experimental jazz ensemble the People’s Liberation Big Band and the James Isaac Group. As a young man, James had the pleasure of performing with a traveling circus in Puerto Rico. Over the years, he has also played in the pit orchestra for nationally touring Broadway productions in Kansas City. His interest in variety has led him to tour with the national act Victor & Penny and with the Kansas City Latin band Cubanisms, visiting Cuba in 2019. James is also a member of the J Love Band, Acoustic Nights, and Multiphonic. Recently, he has been collaborating with colleagues to form a new acoustic jazz combo by the name of Blue Wail. (Visit the “GROUPS” page for more details.) 

As an educator, James is passionate about understanding how different students learn, and strives to balance intellectual understanding with musical intuition. James teaches saxophone, jazz improvisation, and jazz-rock combo at the University of Central Missouri, and music theory at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley, as well as offering private lessons.  

In his free time, James enjoys spending time with his two wonderful sons and his lovely partner.