Isaiah Richardson Jr Performed at the Passport to Taiwan Festival

Isaiah Richardson Jr

Isaiah Richardson Jr was invited by Passport to Taiwan festival to perform on May 13th 2012 with nearly 20,000 people at Union Square in New York!  His performed a few songs including Jasmine (茉莉花), The Moon Represent My Heart (月亮代表我的心), Fair Tale (童話) and ROC National Anthem ( 中華民國國歌) got the crowds cheering and added the support  for the wonderful festival on Mother’s Day to celebrate Taiwanese American Heritage!

Isaiah Richardson Jr was born April 22, 1980 Bronx, New York. He was outcasted in his youth as being “strange” which was an identity he embraced and continued to develop into the multi-faceted artist he has become today.

As young as 9 years old, Isaiah was placed in multiple special programs for gifted children with high IQs including Saturday and summer courses at specialized high schools, such as Bronx High School of Science, where he took high school courses in astronomy, astrophysics, and mathematics. But Isaiah had bigger plans. He started playing music at age 10 first on piano, recorder, and flute before switching to clarinet at age 11, baritone and alto saxophone at age 17, and diatonic harmonica at age 19. At the tender age of 12, he auditioned for and was accepted into the infamous Juilliard School of Music’s MAP for young musicians on a $25,000 scholarship for classical clarinet. He was also featured playing jazz clarinet as young as age 13 on various news programs, auditioned for and was accepted into a performing arts high school the very high school that inspired “Fame” the television series/ Broadway musical/ film, and won a youth talent competition for the NAACP’s ACT-SO program in which his solo performance of Benny Goodman’s “Clarinet A La King” was featured live on PBS.

Isaiah upon graduation from High School, artistically fueled with passion from the arts school he attended, became interested in acting and began auditioning around the New York City area acting in short films and feature films with directors such as Tim Robbins. He became the youngest ever graduate of the infamous now closed “New York Clown Academy” at age 18. Whilst performing as a professional clown, he studied dance, improv comedy, as well as polishing up his magic skills outside of the clown arena. He also became involved at that time with the Negro Theatre Ensemble.

He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a term of four years and was subsequently accepted into the US Marine Corps Band. Whilst being stationed in Okinawa, Japan, Isaiah participated in the 2000 Okinawa G8 Summit with President Clinton in attendance, Brassband Tour in Queensland, Autrailia, marching band competition in Takasaki, Japan, performed at the prestigious Minato Mirai Hall in Yokohama, Japan, had the honor to perform on the island of Iwojima for the anniversary of the end of World War II’s Battle of Iwojima, and was deployed to Korea and participated in the 50th Annual Commemoration Ceremony for the Korean War in which all the survivors as well as all the living former American Presidents were in attendance. During his time in the Marine Corps band, he performed at countless festivals such as Mardi Gras in New Orleans, military ceremonies, private functions, numerous high profile, high security events from Yankee Stadium to the official police officers memorial ceremony for Sept 11th as well as playing keyboard in a jazz quartet that traveled and toured separate from the larger marching ensemble.

From his time in Asia, he developed a deep seeded interest in Southeast Asia and sought to learn as much as he could after his return to the US. He began studying at The City College of New York from fall 2003 and during a stay in Korea in the summer of 2004 for the 2nd Annual Korea Salsa Dance Congress, he visited Taiwan for the first time briefly where he fell in love with that culture. He took every Chinese language class available at his university, became an honorary member of the Columbia University Taiwanese Students Association, then applied and received multiple scholarships from both the US government and from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York for Chinese language study totaling over $15,000. In mainland China he studied for a total 7 months at both Shanghai University and Nanjing University in early 2007, as well as the following year studying in Taipei for 4 months at the one of the most famous universities in Taiwan “National Taiwan Normal University”. During his time in Taiwan, Isaiah modeled/acted in various Taiwanese government promotional videos, as well as most notably played saxophone for an Izzue commercial along with Janet Hsieh host of the Discovery Travel and Living Channel’s popular series “Fun Taiwan”. He also performed regularly 4 nights a week in the house band of “Brown Sugar” one of the most famous jazz clubs in Taiwan.

Isaiah RIchardson Jr

Currently based in New York City, Isaiah performs various styles of music including jazz, klezmer, afro-beat, blues, funk, free jazz, classical and beyond. Isaiah was a part of the original band for the Broadway smash hit “Fela”, performed as a guest artist at the Innetone Festival in Austria, and is a soloist on many film soundtracks and artist recordings. He has recorded and/or performed with such greats as Cecil Bridgewater, Ray Santos, Tito Puente, Stacy Dillard, Curtis Lundy, Fredy Omar, Pupi Menes, Cristobal ‘El Canon’ Cruzado, Donald Smith, Lucien Barbarin, Dr. Michael White, Dennis Davis, Abdul Zahir-Batin, Tom Fischer, Coumba Sidibe, Ameen Saleem, Theo Hill, and Jojo Kuo amongst others. He has studied with Bill Saxton, Dan Block, Andrew Hill, Mike Holober, Arturo O’Farrill, Bob Stewart, Ray Gallon, Dan Carillo, Radu Oluwa Ben Judah, David Liebman, Dick Oatts, Scott Reeves, John Patitucci, and Eddie Daniels. Isaiah He is most proud the group he plays in the called “Brown Rice Family” that is extremely active in the tri-state area and recently was crowned the “WNYC Battle of the Boroughs” Brooklyn champion 2012 as well as an affiliation with VP records the world’s largest reggae record label. Isaiah speaks mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English. As an Asian Scholar he intends to educate the west about Southeast Asian issues as well as educate Taiwan-Japan-China-Korea about each other. Isaiah also intends to create a series of documentaries dedicated to world peace and intercultural understanding.

Isaiah can be seen playing at venues in New York such as Fat Cat and Smalls as well as solo in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can also follow his band at

Isaiah RIchardson Jr with AsianInNY

Isaiah RIchardson Jr with MCs Aly Schill and Andy Shaw

Isaiah Richardson Jr Performed at the Passport to Taiwan Festival

Isaiah Richardson Jr Performed at the Passport to Taiwan Festival

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