The Jazz Education Network and Berklee College of Music collaborate to present the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year award. The award is named after the legendary jazz educator, John LaPorta, and will recognize an outstanding elementary, middle, or high school educator with a focus on jazz education, who represents the highest standards of teaching and whose results in the classroom have brought distinction to their institution and their students.
Dr. Roosevelt Griffin III believes "being an educator is not a career, it is a lifestyle.” His approach to teaching is one that is intentional and full of care and love. He believes music education should be a vehicle to promote not only musical excellence, but also unity and diversity. The Owner and Operator of GI Music LLC, Griffin specializes in curriculum, program, and professional development. In 2017 he founded the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts NFP where the transformative abilities of the arts are used to lift the lives of students and families throughout southern Cook County and beyond. In addition, Griffin leads as band director for Harvey School District 152 – where he attended schools from grades K thru 8 – and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic's Youth ensemble. He co-directs and is the ”Master Mentor” for VanderCook College of Music's One City Program.
2022 "Think Big" Educator Award
Chicago Jazz Philharmonic
2022 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year
Jazz Education Network & Berklee College of Music
2021 Most Distinguished Alumni, Graduate
Concordia University Chicago, Alumni Association
2020 Outstanding Chicagoland Educator
Quinlan and Fabish Music Company
2019 Dream Maker Award
Bronzeville Children's Musuem: Women's Board
2019 Men of Excellence Award
Chicago Defender/ Real Times Media
2018 Award for Human and Civil Rights
Illinois Education Association
2017 Jazz Educator of the Year
The Jazz Institute of Chicago
2017 Grammy Award for Best Music Educator:Semi Finalist
Grammy Foundation and Recording Academy
2015 Most Outstanding Alumni College of Visual and Performing Arts Northern Illinois University
2015 Jefferson Award for Public Service: Educator
Jefferson Foundation, Thornton Township District 205 Ambassadors
2014 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching
Excellence in Teaching Golden Apple Foundation
2014 “Roosevelt Griffin Ave.” A street in Harvey, IL was renamed “Roosevelt Griffin III Ave.” honoring exemplary work in music education.
2012 Excellence in Education Award
Harvey Education Foundation
Griffin worked with some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, and Jimmy Heath, before becoming a full-time teacher. His student-center approach to education has been adopted around the world. For Griffin, a loving and unified band room is just as important as musical excellence. When they are both combined, they result in life-changing outcomes. He is one of the nation’s leading jazz educators, often invited to present at conferences and workshops for music education all over the country. His training and transformative approach has been highlighted in the ASCD video by Eric Jenson, “Teaching with Poverty in Mind.” He and his students have been featured in Downbeat and JazzEd magazines for obtaining an endorsement with Jody Jazz Mouthpieces. Griffin co-authored the latest addition to GIA Publication’s Teaching Music through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles series and the Meredith Music publication Rehearsing the Jazz Band.
Allow Dr. Griffin to bring his experience and expertise to your students. He has the unique ability of engaging young musicians leaving them with concepts that will last a lifetime.
With great success in the area of elementary and middle school band, Dr. Griffin has adapted and developed techniques that ensure student growth, encourage a culture of excellence, and promote a strong community in and out of the band room.
Dr. Griffin has served as a cooperating teacher with several universities. He has had the privilege of having almost 20 student-teachers throughout his career from Depaul University, Vandercook College of Music, Northern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Governors State University, and Roosevelt University.
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