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Woodwind Workout


Happy New Year

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Upcoming Events

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"Chasing the Changes"

with Shaun Johnson

Chicago trumpeter Shaun Johnson will present a 3-part series on approaching chord changes and learning new jazz standards. This series will focus on the process of learning jazz tunes and melodic improvisation. All skill levels are welcome to attend this series.

Trumpeter Shaun Johnson is highly respected by his peers for his humility and skill and believes music is a therapy through which he can interact with and uplift people. Shaun has graced stages all over the world, including stages in Italy, Poland and Chicago’s House of Blues. He has also performed with jazz legends Von Freeman and Fred Anderson. The Chicago native is a husband, father, mentor and positive example to his community and is widely acclaimed as a captivating, yet humble, musician who seeks to dedicate his life to sharing his love for music.

Currently, Shaun performs, composes and records with many groups and is using his extensive experience with performing, composing, arranging and music copying to produce The Shaunlive Project, a way for Shaun to share his life’s dedication to music through mentorship, workshops, recordings and live performances. It is an extension of his utmost desire to uplift people through music

GI Jam: Sherry Amour


The journey began at the age of seven when Sherry was given her first opportunity to sing a solo at her church’s Christmas play. From this spark a flame was ignited, for it was then that she knew that this was a passion worth pursuing.

Encouraged by her parents to take vocal lessons, Sherry began to broaden her skills and enhance her performance technique. This would take her talent to new heights as she learned to sing R&B, classical and Broadway show tunes, which strengthened her voice.

Sherry Amour decided to attend Columbia College of Chicago, to study the business of music. During this season, she learned the importance of being both business savvy as well as sharpening her gift. The balancing act of both worlds encouraged Sherry Amour to consistently maintain control and discipline within her talent.

Having had the opportunity to perform before millions of people on the morning news show WGN, and at the world renowned UniverSoul Circus, and singing the National Anthem for the All Star-Chicagoland basketball game, along with showcasing her talent on a nationwide Coca-Cola sponsored tour, Sherry has honed her skills to earn a reputation as a great live performer now with a limitless destiny awaiting her.

“Sherry you are a treat to watch and hear”, were the words from Grammy & Stellar award winning Producer, Mr. Donald Lawrence after attending a performance of hers, which has inspired and encouraged Sherry to continue to excel with her music and live performances. Aside from graduating from Columbia College of Chicago, Sherry Amour’s proudest accomplishment, thus far, is the release of her 2006 independent project entitled Seasons. It is from this project that Sherry Amour has reflected upon the truth that All things are Possible when you choose to walk by Faith and not by Sight.

“Continue to build your legacy” is Sherry’s Motto to her peers. And that is what Sherry Amour is continuously doing, having a positive impact on music lovers who respect and love music with a voice, a soul…

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Jazz.Academy

January 20, 2018-May 12, 2018


Instrumental students of ALL levels can learn from musicians of the 

CHICAGO JAZZ PHILHARMONIC! We still have openings for BRASS and STRING students!


15-weeks of Jam Sessions, Jazz Orchestra and Master Classes

Saturdays, January 20 – May 12 

1:00pm - 3:30pm



Jazz Academy is pleased to continue our weekly Saturday Jazz Academy.

The second session is a 15 week program available to instrumental students grades 5-12. Students will enjoy a half hour jam session, an hour of master class and an hour of ensemble rehearsal.  Ensembles for Level 1 students are jazz band and string ensemble classes.  Level 2 students will form the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Youth Ensemble, mirroring the CJP professional orchestra in instrumentation - strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section - and performing CJP's signature 'third stream' repertoire.

Chicago State University

9501 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Tuition: $265 per student

Scholarships Available!


Questions? Contact


Jennifer Thompson, Program Coordinator

Tel. (312) 965.6789 text or call



Sarah Pietlicki, Program Manager

Tel. (603) 275.2905 text or call


GI Jams

Every Thursday 6pm-8pm (Food Provided)

The GI Jams are designed to give students a practical and educational platform to harness and develop their individual skills while learning professionalism and performance etiquette while sharing the stage with some of the greatest musicians and educators in the Midwest.

Each week a different professional musician will host the GI Jams. The set-lists are made available one week prior to the GI Jam.  Students may sign up for no more than 2 selections and may add their name as a "Stand BY" on as many selections as they desire.

If you are a professional musician who would like to volunteer at the Griffin Institute by hosting a Jam Session, please contact us at (708) 973-4354 or educate@thegriffininstitute.org

2/15/18 Sherry Amour



1. "All I Do" - Stevie Wonder (YouTube Link)

2. "Can't Help It" - Michael Jackson (YouTube Link)

3. 24K/P.Y.T. Mash Up - (Bruno Mars & Michael Jackson) Sundreams Live Acoustic Version (YouTube Link)

4. "Back To The Music" - Sherry Amour (Dropbox Link)

3/1/18 Barrett Harmon


Motown, Rhythm & Blues, Rock & Roll, Hip-Hop, Latin, and the Blues became part of Barrett Harmon’s identity, due to his mother exposing him to a variety of music at an early age. The early influences of Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson,Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, and Howlin’ Wolf, kept him singing often. 

GI Spotlight

Our CEO/President is named a Semi-Finalist for the 2017 Grammy Award for Music Educator. Congratulations Dr. Griffin

GI Student, Jamal Cole, inducted into the National Honor Society


On Wednesday, October 25, 2017, Jamal received a great honor by being inducted into the National Honor Society. Jamal is a Junior at Hillcrest High School in Country Club Hills, IL. under the musical direction of Valeaka Freeman. We are extremely proud of this phenomenal young man.

Contact Us

The Griffin Institute of Performing Arts

14200 Chicago Rd Unit 117, Dolton, Illinois 60419, United States

(708) 973-4354

Drop us a line!