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Northern Illinois University Steel Band March 23, 2019


Register for one of our new classes

Griffin Institute partners with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic to bring 2 new programs this spring.

 "Little Giants and their Guitars" 

Instructor: Debra Parks 

Group Guitar Class for no more than 10 beginning students ages 5-8 (exceptions can be made for older students). This primer class will focus on basic guitar technique, rhythm, notation, and chords required to perform beginner level popular repertoire. Wednesdays 4:30pm-5:30pm

"The Gospel Groove"
Samuel Jewels, Drums

Runere Brooks, Bass Guitar

Brytish C. Moore-Thomas, Piano 

An introduction to playing in a gospel rhythm section. This class is designed for beginning students ages 10-15 who want to begin their journey into playing gospel music. Whether their desire is to play in church or play for personal enjoyment, this class will provide the basic tools needed to get started. Focus areas: ear-training, sound development, form, and chord progression.
Requirements: Students should have the ability and instruments available to practice outside of class.

Register for Winter & Spring 2019

Check Out Our Upcoming Classes

We have some exciting new classes this fall. Click here for a complete list.

Find out more

Percussion Techniques


An introduction to rhythm, notation, and basic percussion techniques. This fun and interactive session is perfect for the future drummer.

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Expand your range and increase lip flexibility while building that great brass tone. This session guarantees success for all students.

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Woodwind Workout



Increase endurance, articulation, tone quality, and finger technique in a session that is sure to place you at the front of your section.

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GI Jam: Sarita Harrington

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sarita Harrington is a dedicated band parent, mother of Royce Harrington-Turner(trombonist). She comes from a musical family, father-blues drummer, 2 brothers-guitar and bass, 2 daughters- drums, percussions,vocals and clarinet.  Introduced to music at infancy, she realized her vocal ability at age 8. Participating in church and school choirs and talent shows, she developed her vocal style singing Gospel and R&B. Although she was horribly bashful, she found comfort in music.  After college, a surgical injury to her vocal chords silenced the singing for 12 years. However, she found a new voice and a new love for jazz, while supporting her son's musical journey. Now she can be heard at jam sessions throughout the Chicago area. And occasionally appears with her brother's band, " Big Walt and Friends". She's an advocate of live music and dedicated to the promotion of music education.


GI Jam: Chris Davis


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Chris Davis is the leader of the Chris Davis Jazztet. He also works with Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic as a trumpeter in the orchestra and as a teaching artist and jazz band director during camps. 

After earning a Jazz Studies Degree from Northern Illinois University in 2005, Mr. Davis officially began his teaching career as a band director in 2006 at Seton Academy High School in South Holland, Illinois.  Since then he as served as an adjudicator for the Illinois Music Educators Association as well as the Illinois High School Association and many other competitions and festivals. 

In recent years, Mr. Davis has worked with the following artists in some capacity: The Isley Brothers, Dennis Edwards and The Temptations Review, Orbert Davis, The Clarke Sisters, Steve Harvey, Mary Wilson, The Four Tops, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Jennifer Hudson, Ron Kenoly, Barry Manilow and many others. 

Chris is the host of Behind The Note Podcast: Advice For A Successful Music Career where he interviews musicians about what has worked for them in their career on their way to success. Past guests include Rufus Reid, Chris Botti, John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Dee Snider, Wytnon Marsalis, and many others. Behind The Note Podcast is a weekly show that has listeners in over fifty countries. 

"Comeback" trumpet players may find Chris' YouTube channel helpful.  He created a channel that he calls TrumpetLessonsHQ where he gives tips on how to become a better trumpet player.  

R.H.A.W ProHorns



GI JAM Thursday, February 28, 2019

There are EXCELLENT things happening in our community and we are honored and humbled to host tomorrow’s weekly jam! Come out and support the youth by showing your face or bringing your talent!

Focusing on Horn section playing in the common cover band/show setting.

Rosa L. Parks Middle School Drum Line Debut Performance


Thursday, February 28, 2019


Rosa L. Parks M.S Black History Program

14700 Robey Ave, Harvey, IL 60426

Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Jazz Academy


 Jazz Academy - Saturdays

Designed for players of varying levels, grades 5-12, the Saturday Jazz Academy focuses on the development of the CJP Youth Ensemble, mirroring the symphonic colors of the professional orchestra and performing CJP's signature 'third stream' repertoire. Strings, woodwinds, brass, and rhythm section players welcome!

28-weeks of Jam Sessions, Jazz Orchestra and Master Classes
Date: September 22, 2018 – May 11, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Location: Chicago State University (9501 S. King Drive)

Questions? Contact

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


GI JAM: Chris Davis


Thursday, March 7, 2019


Blue Trane (Fmin)


Bag's Groove


Autumn Leaves (Dmin)

Blue Bossa

GI Spotlight

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


The Jazz Institute of Chicago has also selected Dr. Griffin as a 2017 Jazz Educator of the Year along with David Bloom.


Dr. Griffin receives IEA's 2018 Human and Civil Rights Award

Dr. Griffin receives top award from the Illinois Education Association

ROSEMONT – A band teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School in Harvey, Ill., has been selected by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) as the recipient of its 2018 Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award.  Roosevelt Griffin III, director of bands for Harvey Public School District 152, was recognized on Thursday at the annual Representative Assembly of the IEA.  “Roosevelt Griffin III is an inspiration to all IEA members and to the members of his community,” said IEA President Kathi Griffin.  “The street on which he grew up in Harvey was renamed for him a few years ago, due to his exemplary work in music education and his activism. We are proud Roosevelt Griffin III is an IEA member and that he’s dedicated his adult life to helping students improve their own lives through music.”  Griffin has been a teacher in District 152 for 14 years. His commitment to his community was noted in the nomination for the Human and Civil Rights Award which reads in part, “Being from the community and going back to the community sets this candidate apart. The programs he has built are sustainable even if he was no longer engaged. He has demonstrated a long-term commitment.”  Among the many honors Griffin has received for his teaching and his activism are, the “Excellence in Education Award” from the Harvey Education Association, a Golden Apple Award, “Most Outstanding Alumni Award” from Northern Illinois University, and “Jazz Educator of the Year for 2017” from the Jazz Institute of Chicago.  The IEA Reg Weaver Human and Civil Rights Award is one of the association’s highest honors for a member. It is named after the former president of the IEA and the National Education Association, Reg Weaver.  ###  The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.

Contact Us

The Griffin Institute of Performing Arts

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

(708) 973-4354

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