Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop


2021 GJCW Cancellation Message:

Dear Loyal GJCW Participants,

After much consideration, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot safely offer the Grayslake Jazz Combo Workshop during the summer of 2021. We know that everyone is looking for opportunities to play and learn jazz, but we have to err on the side of safety and caution. Below we have listed a number of the safety concerns that guided our decision:

  • The small dimensions of our teaching spaces prevent us from properly distancing participants
  • Lack of access to specialized air filtration systems
  • The challenge of managing the air flow from musicians who play brass and woodwind instruments

Send any questions or comments you have to Bill Chapin.

We hope you will continue your jazz studies through individual instruction and participation in any available school programs. If you are looking for a jazz improvisation instructor, please consider contacting one of our GJCW faculty.

Directory of GJCW Jazz Instructors Offering Online Instruction

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.