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Woodwind Workout


Happy New Year

Thank you for your support!

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: YL Douglas


Y.L. Douglas Jr., a Chicago native, an alumni of Florida A & M University and Chicago State University with M.M.Ed from Vandercook College of Music. He has been blessed as a Musician, and an Educator, As a musician, Y.L. has traveled all over the globe and has worked in every phase of the entertainment industry: Motion Pictures as U.S. Marshall (with Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes), and Mercury Rising (with Bruce Willis), Commercials, T.V. Specials and Documentaries.  Musicals as such (Could It Be Magic/The Barry Manilow Song Book)   ‘Purlie’, the official “Blues Brothers” musical, Clint Holmes, “Comfortable Shoes”, the “The official Color Purple Musical”, His Way Show (the Music of Frank Sinatra),Ain’t Mis Behavin, , Regina Taylor’s “Crowns” and many more. Y.L. has had the honor of playing with industries greats as Melba Moore, Nell Carter, Eartha Kitt, Red Rodney, Leotyne Price, Efaye Butler, Felicia Fields Bob Mintzer, Joe Williams, Stanley Turntine, Von Freeman, Bunkie Green, Sonny Stitt, Benny Golson, Wycliff Gordon, Vicki Winans, , Albertina Walker, Walter Hawkins, Shirley Caesar, Lines and Spaces, Steel Drum Express, Pan GO Steel Drum Band, Frank Mantooth Big Band, Rob Parton Orchestra, and many others.  Y.L. currently serves in his 35th year  as the drummer for the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago (House Of Hope) in Chicago.

As an Educator, now in his 23rd year, Mr. Douglas serves as Director of Bands at Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL. He continues to serve his students with passion and resilience. His program continues to thrive with Leadership through Musicianship. His greatest success is seeing his students create their own legacy. Mr. Douglas has been afforded lifelong experiences with his programs such as performances at the 2012 Olympics in London, Bowl Games as Chic Fil A Bowl, 2009 Presidential Inaugural Band Festival in Washington DC and other National parades. His programs have consecutively been given Superior Ratings by IGSMA and IHSA. Mr.Douglas he has been nominated for awards such as Golden Apple Award (2007) and Teacher of the Year (2010).  He has received the Rainbow Push MLK Push to Excel Leadership Award (2010) and a host of many other awards.  He has been honored to present at the Midwest International Band Clinic (2009,2016 &2017) Jazz Educators Network (2013 & 2016) ILMEA (Illinois Music Educators Association) State Conference (2010 2016), and a host of national and international workshops and conferences. 

He remains humbled grateful for the talents, opportunities, friends and experiences God has placed in his life over the years. 

“…Where there is no VISION the people perish”

Prov 29:18

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

3/8/2018 YL Douglas

Set List


Blue Bossa

Girl from Ipanema

Someday my prince will come

All Blues

Foot Prints

Satin Doll

Pick up the Pieces


1. Recorda Me- Joe Henderson
2. Oleo- Sonny Rollins
3. Groovin High- Dizzy Gillespie
4. Take the A Train- Duke Ellington
5. Four- Miles Davis

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!