Lauded by the press for his "extraordinary blend of colorful voice and powerful stage presence," tenor Isai Jess Muñoz has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, The Little Orchestra Society of Lincoln Center, Cincinnati Opera, Orlando Philharmonic, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of Scotland and many more. As an avid performer of the recital and concert stage, Dr. Muñoz has been a featured soloist with the Verbier Festival of Switzerland, Bard Music Festival, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre on Broadway, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Grammy award-winning Voices of Ascension, and in churches and performance spaces across New York City, among them Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, The Riverside Church, Marble Collegiate and Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
An advocate for contemporary music, Dr. Muñoz was honored to have collaborated for a number of years with the Center for Contemporary Opera, which culminated in premieres of James Dashow's electronic opera Archimides, and J. D. McClatchy and Frances Thorne's Mario and the Magician. Equally at home in the field of Baroque and Renaissance repertoire, Muñoz frequently appears with early music projects such as Opera Omnia's celebrated production of Cavalli's Giasone of which The New York Post praised his performance calling him, "Funniest of the comic crew in the decidedly non PC role of the stuttering hunchback Demo." He can be heard on the complete recordings of Gilbert and Sullivan's Yeoman of the Guard, Kalman's Sari, Victor Herbert's The Red Mill, Pasatieri's The Seagull, J. D. McClatchy and Frances Thorne's Mario and the Magician, and Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday opposite Kelli O’Hara and Victor Garber recorded live from Lincoln Center.
As a much sought-after educator, Dr. Muñoz enthusiastically works with a vast array of students—from young beginning singers to celebrity clients performing in music theatre, opera and other varied areas of classical and contemporary commercial music. Having maintained a busy teaching studio in New York City, Dr. Muñoz has seen his students appear in the Broadway and National companies of many shows including Jersey Boys, Finding Neverland, Chicago, Gypsy, Annie, A Chorus Line, Oklahoma, On The Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and White Christmas, and on major recording labels including SONY, RCA, Atlantic and Time Life. He has previously served on the faculty of SUNY Stony Book, the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, Musiktheater Bavaria in Germany, the University of Central Florida Summer Opera Institute in Orlando and the Summer Music Academy of Rollins College. From 2012-2016, Dr. Muñoz served as associate professor of voice and director of opera and music theatre productions at Indiana Wesleyan University.
As music scholar, Dr. Muñoz serves as chair of the Sacred in Opera Initiative of the National Opera Association—an ecumenical support project that researches the creation and performance of representations depicting the religious quest in opera form. He is also founder and director of The Latin American Protestant Song Initiative that seeks to create a platform to support the preservation, dissemination and proliferation of Iberian and Latin American Protestant Song Literature. He is the recipient of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts Career Grant and the SUNY Turner Fellowship for contributions to the dissemination of Iberian and Latin American Art Song, for which he frequently appears in recitals in the Americas and abroad. Dr. Muñoz is a proud member of the National Opera Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Dr. Muñoz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he studied with W. Stephen Smith of The Juilliard School.