John Isley has toured the world playing saxophone for the past several decades. He’s an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, arranger and studio engineer, as well as a self proclaimed computer nerd, avid reader and a pretty damned good cook! He has been a staple of the New York City music scene for more than 30 years. Originally hailing from North Carolina, he relocated to New York to attend college and absorb all the diversity, energy and music making opportunities that the Big Apple had to offer. He went on to earn his BFA in Jazz & Contemporary Music at The New School, and graduated with a Masters in Jazz Studies from Queens College.
For the past seven years, John has been an integral member of the legendary Jersey soul/rock band Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. He has toured with Diana Ross, leads an amazing horn-driven band that he co-founded in 1997 called New York Horns, and has performed with such music luminaries as Gary U.S. Bonds, The Allman Brothers, Little Feat, They Might Be Giants, Vaneese Thomas, Mary Wilson, Bernard Purdie, Matt Guitar Murphy, The Spinners, The O’Jays, The Four Tops, The Temptations, and many, many others.
Equally at ease playing Broadway shows, he has also performed in many NY pit bands and/or toured with such highly acclaimed shows as Smokey Joe’s Cafe, A Night With Janis Joplin, Hairspray, In The Heights, Movin’ Out, Five Guys Named Moe, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, among others.
John has written, performed and produced music for television and film, from CBS Sports and NBC News to daytime talk shows like Sally Jesse Raphael, Maury Povich, and Oprah. His saxophone and woodwind playing has been featured on many local and national television and radio programs.
John is an educator as well, teaching saxophone, arranging and orchestration, and performance ensembles at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY.