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 @ Center Cut April 13th

In 2023 thirty-two jazzers explored jazz improvisation in the GJCW workshop. They ranged in age from 7th grade to adult and came from these area schools:

Hawthorne Middle School, Grayslake Middle School, Palombi Middle School, Woodland Middle School, Antioch Middle School, Antioch High School, Hersey High School, Douglas McArthur Middle School, Home-school, Hawthorne Middle School, Mundelein High School, Vernon Hills High School, Libertyville High School, Grayslake North High School, and the School of Life.

Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop Registration Opens

Hey, jazzers, welcome to the 2024 season of the Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop. Here are some quick links to help you learn about this summer’s program:

Be sure to sign up early to reserve your spot.

Another great session on March 17th! Our coached tune was Parker’s Yardbird Suite. Then we played Red’s Good Groove, Recordame, Watermelon Man, and One for Daddy-O.

Join us for our next CJS Sunday Jazz Jam on Sunday, April 14th at 3:30 pm. Click the QR code below to get your ticket!

CJS Sunday Jazz Jam

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

Next Jam? Sun, April 14th 

New! A ticket (which is free) is now required to play at the CJS Sunday Jazz Jam, just to help Mr. Chapin set up for, manage the event, and make sure everyone has plenty of chances to play.

Click here to get your free jam session ticket!

Join us from 3:30-5 pm to play some jazz tunes. 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!

CSJ Jazz Jam Dates for 2023-24:

Apr 14 | May 5

Chapin Jazz X-tet Recording

Recorded in early 2021, Suspended Bridges is composed by Bill Chapin. Jim Batson-bass, Bill Chapin-piano and melodica, and Jim Richardson-drums recorded themselves at home; Bill assembled it as part of an adventure in learning about audio and video recording, editing, and mixing.


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 $2,500 scholarship are raised through donations through the Grayslake Central High School Online Store