Originally self-taught, Issa has become a highly skilled and internationally recognized specialist in Middle Eastern, Arabic, and North African percussion. He has performed nationally and internationally at venues as noteworthy as the Kennedy Center, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the Library of Congress, and Carangy Hall. Issa has recorded with artists including Grammy winning oud virtuoso Rahim Al-Haj, guitarist Peter Buck of R.E.M., and Eastern European, Balkan, and Turkish influenced 'A Hawk and a Hacksaw' among many more.
He is frequently sought after due to the clarity, precision and complexity/simplicity of his drum work and rhythms. Based out of his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Issa's passion for music continuously expands. Respectful and engaging, Issa is a natural teacher and has instructed and inspired all levels of drummers. He teaches workshops locally and has taught as a guest instructor at Yale and the Chicago School of Music. Though his primary genre is Arabic/Middle Eastern percussion, Issa is knowledgeable in an array of percussion styles from around the world and is ever expanding into new territory and understandings through both study and travel.
He has recently turned his focus towards studying both Arabic Maqam and Indian Raag and applying that knowledge towards playing melodic instruments and incorporating disciplines from both regions.