Musician and writer Isamu Jordan died Thursday in his home on Spokane’s South Hill.
Jordan, 37, was a former staff reporter for The Spokesman-Review and wrote a weekly entertainment column. His most recent column will appear in Friday’s 7 section, which went to press before his death.
Jordan fronted a local hip-hop orchestra, The Flying Spiders; one of their most popular songs was “Break Ya Spine (The Spokanthem).” And he taught classes at Whitworth University as an adjunct instructor.
Emergency crews were called to his home today at about 11 a.m. He was dead of apparent suicide, according to records.
His death has shocked the community and led to an outpouring of grief and support for his family.
“He battled very serious depression,” said Anne Walter, who worked as one of Jordan’s first editors. She is serving as a family spokesperson. “A lot of his struggle was fighting it. Trying to keep it private.”
Walter and her husband Jess are godparents to Jordan’s sons.
Jordan graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1993. It was during high school that he took his writing aspirations to print. He was among the first writers for The Spokesman-Review’s teen section called Our Generation.
His stories delved into the triumphs and struggles of being a young black man in Spokane. His stories brought a new voice and viewpoint to the doorsteps of readers.
He went to college at Washington State University and later returned to the newspaper to write neighborhood stories and eventually he landed his dream job as music writer.
The newspaper laid off Jordan in 2008 as part of deep newsroom staff cuts. He kept writing as a freelancer for several publications.
Services are pending and a college fund for his sons will be established.
Jordan is shown in 2004 in an S-R file photo.