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 is the Owner and Operator of GI Music LLC, specializing in curriculum, program, and professional development. He is the Founder and CEO of the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts (NFP) where the transformative abilities of the arts are used to transform the lives of students and families throughout southern Cook County and beyond. In addition to the organizations that he lead, Dr.Griffin serves as band director for Harvey School District 152 and Chicago Jazz Philharmonic's Youth ensemble. He is also co-director and student mentor for VanderCook College of Music's One City Program.
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
Before becoming a full-time teacher, Dr. Griffin worked with some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, and Jimmy Heath. He is often invited to present at conferences and workshops for music education, including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, National Association for Music Education , Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazz Educators Network, Missouri Music Educators Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Northern Illinois University, Columbia College, and others.
Dr. Griffin's approach to teaching is one that is intentional and full of care and love. He believes music education should be a vehicle to not only promote musical excellence, but also unity and diversity. His approach has been highlighted in the ASCD training video by Eric Jenson, “Teaching With Poverty In Mind”. He and his students have also been featured in Downbeat and JazzEd magazines for obtaining an endorsement with Jody Jazz Mouthpieces. In addition, he recently co-authored the latest addition to GIA Publication’s TMTP series, “Teaching Music Through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles” and the 2020 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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