Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop


2024 Registration Update:

Here are the combos, schedules, and instruments still open for Session 2–see the Workshop Dates for the dates and times.

Beginning/Advancing Beginner Combo–Sun-Tues-Thur schedule: we have openings for bass, drums, guitar, and horn players.

Intermediate to Advanced Combo–Mon-Wed-Fri schedule: we have openings for bass, guitar, and horn players.

We are also working to fill out an additional combo at the Intermediate to Advanced level–Sun -Tues-Thur schedule: we have openings for  horn players and a guitarist

GJCW in 2024

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.

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.


Since 2001 students in Northeastern Illinois have been learning to play jazz through the Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop, or GJCW.

The workshop, open to musicians entering grade 7 through adult, organizes participants into jazz combos, complete with rhythm sections and horn players, where students advance their skills in performing and improvising over jazz tunes.

While school and community jazz bands offer some opportunities for members to take solos (improvise), the typical concert will include soloing space for only a few musicians. Our combo workshop picks up where these band experiences leave off and provides instruction on jazz improvisation, frequent opportunities to practice soloing in a risk-free educational setting, and multiple opportunities to perform with a jazz combo at concerts.

Workshop instructors are experienced jazz improvisers and jazz educators with a passion for sharing their love of this exciting form of American music. Workshop participants come from area middle and high schools, colleges, and “schools of life” (adults). In recent years, as many as 45 students, divided into six combos have comprised the workshop rosters.

Please see the menu to the right to learn more and register for this summer’s workshop.