Creative growth through improvisation

Welcome to the web site of Bill Chapin, jazz pianist and teacher. Bill plays and teaches jazz piano and bass, leads his own jazz combo, and coordinates the Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop from his creative space, Chapin Jazz Studio. Explore the site and sign up for the monthly newsletter to learn more about opportunities to learn jazz at the studio and to hear jazz where Bill is playing.

Chapin Jazz X-tet at 129 Center Cut

Celebrate Valentines Day with the Chapin Jazz X-tet at Grayslake’s hippest place to dine and hear live music. Bill Chapin-piano, Paul Nielsen-bass, and Daniel Beckwith will serve up a selection of lively and luscious jazz love songs over by the fireplace. Join us!

  • Saturday, Feb 15 ~ 7:00-10:00 pm
129 Center St, Grayslake, IL

Call (847) 986-6872 for reservations

GJCW Registration for 2020 Is Open

Registration is now open for the 2020 Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop

Learn jazz tunes, improvisation skills, and jazz theory.

Learn and perform with a jazz combo.

Early bird deadline for registration is May 15th. Don’t miss out on the fun!

Chapin Jazz X-tet at the LakeHouse, Lake Bluff

Come join the X-tet at the LakeHouse, where we serve up a side of blues, Latin and swing jazz tunes to complement your dinner. Every weekend, alternating Fridays and Saturdays, year-round. In February we are featuring jazz tunes with a “love” theme. Expect to hear tunes such as My Funny Valentine, There Is No Greater Love, and Lover Man.


  • Sat Feb 8, 6-8 pm
  • Fri Feb 14, 6;30-8:30 pm
  • Sat Feb 22, 6-8 pm
  • Fri Feb 28, 6:30-8:30 pm
525 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff IL

Call 847-295-7140 for reservations

CJS Sunday Jazz Jam

Students of all ages who can read music are welcome at the Sunday Jazz Jams…

We start each session with a coached tune. Then participants select the jazz standards for jamming. Fake books, drums, bass, piano, keyboards, and amps are provided. Just bring your horn and your spirit of adventure for a fun opportunity to play and improve your improv skills–mostly playing, with a bit of helpful coaching.

The jam is a friendly environment where musicians can try out and learn more about improvising jazz. And it’s free! Want to improve as an improviser? Come join us!

2019-20 CJS Sunday Jazz Jam dates ~ always from 4-5:30 pm:

2/9 ~ 3/15 ~ 4/5 ~ 5/3


The Bill Chapin Jazz X-tet, a combo performing modern jazz, performs regularly in the Chicago area. Playing in formats from one to six pieces, the X-tet provides the sleek sound of solo piano, the pulse of a trio, or the harmonies of a full combo with saxophone, trumpet and trombone. Perfect for upscale dining and lounges, classy cocktail hours and receptions, fundraisers and galas, and corporate events.


The Chapin Jazz Studio offers lessons for the serious jazz pianist, for instrumentalists wanting to learn theory and explore jazz piano, and for anyone wanting to experience the fun of playing jazz piano. The studio also offers a monthly jazz jam session, jazz solo coaching, and instruction on jazz bass and composition. The Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop, where students study jazz every summer, also calls the studio home.

Meet Bill Chapin

Bill Chapin has performed as a professional pianist in the Chicago area since 1978 – as a leader of a combo, as a free-lance member of a variety of groups, and as a solo jazz pianist. As a teacher he has coached a succession of jazz pianists and improvisers at Chapin Jazz Studio, where he offers private lessons and other jazz-related learning opportunities. His students range in age from 10 through adult; and for each learner Bill’s goal is “creative growth through improvisation.”

Drew Chapin Scholarship

The Drew Chapin Memorial Scholarship for Change memorializes Drew Chapin, now deceased, a 2003 graduate of GCHS who lived his life consciously and was committed to family, the pursuit of knowledge, respect for all persons and cultures, peace, and celebrating life. The scholarship honors Grayslake Central High School students who are knowledgeable about national and international social problems and have a personal philosophy about what actions they might take to improve some aspect of our world.

Funds for the annual $2,000 scholarship are raised through the Drew Chapin Memorial Jazz Jam and Concert, held in August. At this annual concert area jazz musicians hold a jazz jam session and concert at the Grayslake Central Park Pavilion.