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.

In 2022 thirty-one jazzers explored jazz improvisation in the GJCW workshop. They ranged in age from 7th grade to adult and came from these area schools:

Grayslake North High School, Grayslake Central High School, Libertyville High School, School of Life, Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein High School, Stevenson High School, Palatine High School, Lakes High School, and Douglas MacArthur, Wauconda, and Fremont Middle Schools.

Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop Registration Opens

Hey, jazzers, welcome to the 2023 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.

New 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