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Isaiah J. Thompson

From West Orange, NJ, Isaiah began studying piano classically at the age of five, and eventually branched out to other styles and genres. After discovering how much fun it was to play jazz, he began to study jazz privately and was soon performing with Jazz House Kids and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Youth Orchestra. Isaiah is a 3-time winner for Outstanding Achievement from the Music Educators Association and an Outstanding Soloist at both the Essentially Ellington and Mingus competitions. In recent years he has participated in the 2014 Vail Jazz Workshop, the 2015 GRAMMY Jazz Combo and was invited to participate in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s (JALC) 2015 inaugural Summer Jazz Academy by Wynton Marsalis. Isaiah was a jazz piano winner for the National YoungArts Foundation and the recipient of the Horace Parlan Talent Award in Copenhagen. Recently he has traveled multiple times to Bern, Switzerland to perform in the Bern Jazz Festival as a member of the New Legacy Quartet, and later with his own quartet in Marian’s Jazzroom. Isaiah has traveled to Bolivia with The Juilliard School and to Peru with Jazz House Kids, to tour and play around Lima and Cuzco as a part of a music cultural exchange. A major highlight was being invited to play in the Rose Theater for the JALC Orchestra’s season opening performances of A Handful of Keys: A Century of Jazz Piano that featured Dick Hyman, Larry Willis, Joey Alexander, Helen Sung, Myra Melford, himself, and Dan Nimmer. Currently Isaiah has explored his own voice and aesthetic as a member of Citizens of the Blues. He believes that artistry is a direct channel to the mind and soul of an artist, and as ‘Citizens’, the group tries to emit a feeling of joy and convey its personal experiences to others through music which includes a strong advocacy for diversity in all aspects of the term. Isaiah has lately gravitated towards greats such as Thelonious Monk, Stevie Wonder, Cedar Walton, Monty Alexander, Phineas Newborn and Duke Ellington. Isaiah is on a journey, that for him, started at a very early age and he was thrilled that after graduating from The Montclair Kimberley Academy, he began studying at The Juilliard School. This fall, Isaiah will begin his third year at Juilliard, and is very excited to continue learning about this music.



Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Power of the...

Blue Engine Records


Stage & Screen

Palmetto Records



Smoke Sessions Records


The Ellis Marsalis...

Nu Jazz Records/Nu Jazz Entertainment


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