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 a highly esteemed scholar and practitioner in the field of music education. He holds a deep conviction that music education is not simply a career, but a way of life. In his instructional methodology, Dr. Griffin emphasizes intentionality, care, and love, with a commitment to promoting musical excellence as well as unity and diversity.In 2017, Dr. Griffin founded the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts NFP, an institution that harnesses the transformative power of the arts to elevate the lives of students and families across southern Cook County and beyond. He also occupies the Walter Dyett Chair for Jazz Studies, Diversity, and Inclusion at VanderCook College of Music, is the owner and operator of GI Music LLC., and serves as the Youth Ensemble Director for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic.
2022-2023 Dr. William P. Foster Project "Community Development Award"
Music Music Education Alliance
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
Dr. Griffin's student-centered approach to music education has been widely lauded and adopted by educators around the globe. He maintains that a harmonious and unified band room is just as essential to achieving musical excellence as is technical proficiency, leading his bands to be showcased on stages across the nation. His exemplary contributions to the field have earned him numerous awards and recognitions, including the "2022 John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year" from the Jazz Education Network and Berkley College of Music, the "2022 Think Big Educator Award" from the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, and most recently, the 2022-2023 "Dr. William P. Foster Community Development Award" from the Music Education Alliance.
Dr. Griffin's innovative pedagogy has been documented in several prominent academic publications, including Teaching with Poverty in Mind, Teaching Music Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, JazzEd Magazine, and the co-authored book Teaching Music through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles and Rehearsing the Jazz Band.
Dr. Griffin earned his Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Illinois Teaching Certificate K-12 (Music) from Northern Illinois University, followed by a Master of Arts in School Leadership and Type 75 Certificate from Concordia-Chicago. He also holds an EdD in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University in Chicago, and was awarded a sabbatical at Northwestern University in Evanston from the Golden Apple Foundation. Dr. Griffin's academic achievements and contributions to the field of music education have established him as a leading authority in his area of expertise.
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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Consider supporting our community work through the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts NFP. Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and provide access to the arts for children throughout Chicagoland. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
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