Isaiah Collier

Collier, who is twenty-five years old, has shared the stage with Chance the Rapper as well as appeared at many jazz festivals around the globe. These awards make Collier’s unassuming charm and disarming charm even more impressive. I had the pleasure of sitting down with him over sushi a few weeks back to discuss his musical philosophy. We talked about genetics and folk music under the hum of Top 40 songs. Collier has a deep history in Chicago’s jazz scene. After spending a few years at Stockton’s Brubeck Institute, Collier, a Park Manor resident, recently returned to Chicago. Local giants James Perkins Jr. and Willie Pickens mentored him. He has since performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and most recently with The Chosen Few. Collier’s first introduction to jazz was a more humble one. A flyer for a camp in Chicago landed in Collier’s face. It was less than a decade ago. This gave him his first chance at the saxophone. His passion grew over the years. His father, a keyboardist, and singer, would often bring Collier, 12, to perform at gigs. “And I was like, “Oh crap!” Collier stated, “I made twenty dollars doing that!” But it truly put some perspective on the matter.” Collier recalled thinking, “Wait! I can actually make money doing this?” Soon Collier would be performing for his church, reviving the R.

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