Dave Isaacs has been called “utterly soulful” and “a musician's musician”. A word-class guitarist, powerful vocalist, and acclaimed songwriter, he brings together a rare combination of rigorous formal training in music, twenty-five years of teaching experience in the academic and private realms, and a continuing parallel career as a performing and recording artist, session musician, producer, and bandleader.
He holds degrees in guitar performance from New York's Manhattan School of Music (M.Mus. 1993) and the City University of New York (B. Mus. magna cum laude, 1991). He has studied with and performed for some of the most prominent artists in the classical guitar world, including Segovia protege Oscar Ghiglia, composer/virtuoso Benjamin Verdery, and international concert artist and founder of the guitar program at the Juilliard School, Sharon Isbin. When repetitive strain injury derailed his plans for a career as a classical recitalist, Dave's lifelong love of roots music - the blues, folk, country, jazz, and rock & roll - led back to songwriting, improvisation, and the electric guitar. Over the course of his six releases as an independent artist Dave has explored modern country-rock, literate singer-songwriter folk, ambient jazz, improvisational blues-rock, and Southern soul. The depth of this musical diversity combined with rigorous formal schooling and over twenty years of teaching private students offer him a rare and exceptionally wide perspective as an educator. In addition, his experience in overcoming repetitive strain injuries led to a comprehensive knowledge of the biomechanics of guitar playing and the development of the concept of "effortless guitar".
One of Nashville's busiest and most respected music educators, Dave maintains a private teaching studio on Nashville's famed Music Row dedicated to helping creative people grow as writers, musicians and artists. He offers clinics and workshops for music schools and songwriters' groups around the country, including regular workshops for the Nashville Songwriters Association Int'l (NSAI) since 2006. While teaching at Tennessee State University from 2009-2013 he founded and directed the TSU Guitar Summit, Nashville's only multi-genre educational guitar festival, and continues to teach in the Audio Production program at the Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville.