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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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Lessons with the Masters...Rehearsing the Jazz Band

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  • These top educators will share secrets to challenges that confront us every day. Enter the virtual rehearsal hall of these educators who bring a wealth of experience and suggestions that will aid you in your teaching. Topics include: Rehearsal Philosophy/Preparation, Improvisation, Ensemble Technique, Literature and Listening. The goal of this session is to motivate and provide teaching techniques that will assist in developing quality ensembles.
  • Mary Jo Papich (
  • 12/19/2019 08:30 AM - 09:30 AM
  • Meeting Room W192
  • Mary Jo Papich is CoFounder and first president of the Jazz Education Network. She is the founder/director for student Fests in New Orleans and Puerto Vallarta. Serving public school education for 35+ years, MJ served as Fine Arts Director for Skokie D219; Fine Arts Chair at Highland Park HS. As district Fine Arts Coordinator in Peoria Public School 150 she founded the Peoria Jazz All Stars who performed at Montreux, North Sea, and Umbria Jazz Festivals, IMEA Conference, ASBDA and many events. Prior, Mary Jo was an award winning band director at Peoria’s Woodruff High School. Her leadership/honor positions include serving on the selection committee for the NARAS Grammy Music Educator of the Year award, Artistic Access to Excellence Panel for the NEA, ILMEA VP, and HP Cultural Arts Commission, Central IL ArtsPartners and many other arts organizations. Mary Jo’s recent honors include receiving Jazz Education Achievement Award from DownBeat, Women in Jazz Award from the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. HPHS Focus on the Arts annually awards a Highland Park High School student the MJ Papich Leadership Scholarship. JEN honors her by giving the Mary Jo Papich Women In Jazz Scholarship to deserving students. In 2015, Tau Beta Sigma presented her with the Outstanding Service to Music Education award. She was recently presented with the Outstanding Jazz Educator of the Year award from the Chicago Jazz Institute in April 2018 and the prestigious Medal of Honor from Midwest Clinic in 2019. Papich is the editor of The Jazz Educator’s Cookbook and Rehearsing the Jazz Band, Vol. 1. These books are published by Meredith Music and distributed by Hal Leonard Music, proceeds go to Jazz Education NetworkHer many presentations include: NAfME Conference, many State MEA conferences, Midwest Clinic, IAJE Conferences, Siena Jazz Foundation, South African Jazz Conf, Brubeck Institute. Her professional affiliations include JEN, ILMEA, NAfME, Illinois Arts in Education Alliance.
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  • Roxanne Stevenson
  • Roxanne Stevenson is Professor of Music Education, Director of Bands, Coordinator for Music Ed and Gospel Music concentrations at Chicago State University. She earned a B.S. from Bethune-Cookman University and the M.S. from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. A saxophonist, she performed with the weekly gospel show “Singsation”, Bernie Mac, Vickie Winans, Jean Carnes, Cherelle, the Chi-Lites and others. She was featured with her group “Roxanne Stevenson RSVP” on WLS-abc 7 Chicago’s television show “Windy City Live”, Chicago's "Gospel on the Pier," WGN's "Gospel Heritage," Fox Television's Christmas Special, "For Colored Girls WGN," and the Chicago Jazz Festival. She plays for Trinity UCC aired nightly. She is saxophonist and/or arranger on CDs including Stellar and Grammy Award nominated "Unplugged” by Ricky Dillard and "Stay Connected" by Trinity UCC (music of Africans in Diaspora Africa to America). Stevenson is Jazz Coordinator for the HBCU-National Band Director’s Consortium, panelist for the Illinois Arts Council, director/master class teacher for Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camps, adjudicator, panelist and director for festivals and competitions. She has been the band/choral director and classroom/music teacher grades k-12. The CSU Community Jazz Band started in 1992 by Stevenson has presented at the IMEA All-State Conference, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, National Association for Negro Musicians Centennial Conference, Jazz Education Network Conference and other festivals. The band was nominated for the 16th Annual Black Excellence “Best Performance in Jazz Award” by the African American Alliance of Chicago. Stevenson also started the CSU Concert Band, Gospel Ensemble, Marching Band and the BA in Gospel Music Concentration. She is a contributor to the textbooks Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz Volumes I & II and is author of the article “Novel to Normal: Seeing Women in Music” published in the Illinois Music Educator Journal and the Connecticut Music Educator Journal. Stevenson is a member of the Women Band Directors International, Illinois Music Education Association, Jazz Education Network (Sisters in Jazz Committee) and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Stevenson received the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago’s Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music – Jazz, The Absolute Winds of Change Tribute to Chicago’s African-American Women in Jazz and a Christian Girls Rock award. She was a quarter-finalist for the 2nd Annual Grammy Music Educator Award. Professor Stevenson is the mother of two girls, Morgan and Bailey.  
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  • Jose Diaz
  • Recently named LULAC 2018 Educator of the Year, José Antonio Diaz is a Grammy Nominated Music Educator Top 10 Finalist, 2016 winner of Berklee College of Music’s John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year Award and recipient of the Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Award. Jose is founder/artistic director for the award winning organization Diaz Music Institute in Houston, Texas. Recently inducted into DownBeat Magazine’s Jazz Education Hall of Fame, Diaz's success was the subject of a featured cover story in SBO Magazine, Band Director's Guide Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and was selected by FOX 26 and Univision Television stations as a Hispanic Hero. Jose was inducted into the Texas Christian University Band Hall of Fame and received the prestigious Jefferson Award for his work with Diaz Music Institute. Jose’s leadership has led Diaz Music Institute to become internationally recognized as a premier organization for presenting, developing, and teaching Latin jazz and salsa music. Diaz’s innovative programming is enjoyed by the Houston area community through Diaz Music Institute’s annual presentation of Noché Caliente at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. Performing in Noché Caliente is the Institute’s repertoire ensemble Caliente in musical dialogue with some of Latin music’s biggest stars such as NEA Jazz Master Candido, Pete Escovedo, Eddie Palmieri, and Poncho Sanchez to name just a few. In addition, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities selected Diaz Music Institute as a finalist for the 2010 and 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards. As an artist, Jose has received four grants from the Houston Arts Alliance to support his creative writing in Latin, jazz, and contemporary music compositions. Diaz has performed with such artists as Carl Allen, Ndugu Chancler, Jon Faddis, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Danilo Perez, Patrice Rushen, David Sanchez, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Bill Watrous, and Miguel Zenon. Jose’s jazz ensembles have also performed multiple times at some of the most prestigious international events including but not limited to The Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network (JEN), Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA), Texas Bandmasters Association (TBA), and National Association for Music Education (NAfME). In addition to bringing groups to major conferences Jose has presented workshops for organizations such as the Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network, Berklee College of Music, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Conservatorium aan Zee in Oostende, Belgium, California Music Educators Association, Oregon Music Educators Association, University of Missouri - St. Louis, Baylor University, Texas Music Educators Association, Virginia Music Educators Association, Western International Band Clinic, National Association of Black School Educators, Texas Music Symposium, National Association for Music Education and the National Association of Schools of Music. Jose is a graduate of University of Arkansas (BSE) and Texas Christian University (MME). He is on the board of Directors for The Midwest Clinic and is a member of JEN, NAfME, TBA, TMEA, Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Kappa Psi, and Phi Mu Alpha fraternities. Jose is also co-author of Middle School Music Expressions™ (Alfred Music Publication) and composed the music for Freddie the Frog and the Invisible Coquí (Mystic Publishing, Inc.); this book was selected as Creative Child’s Magazine’s 2016 book of the year. Currently Diaz is developing a new jazz curriculum entitled “About That Jazz.”
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  • Antonio Garcia
  • Antonio J. García is a performer, composer/arranger, producer, clinician, educator, and author in both instrumental and vocal genres. The Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, he is a past nominee for CASE U.S. Professor of the Year and is the recipient of Northern Illinois University’s 1992 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Illinois Music Educators Association’s 2001 Distinguished Service Award, and the VCU School of the Arts’ 2015 Faculty Award of Excellence. His newest book, Jazz Improvisation: Practical Approaches to Grading (Meredith Music), explores avenues for creating structures that correspond to course objectives. His Cutting the Changes: Jazz Improvisation via Key Centers (Kjos Music) offers musicians of all ages the opportunity to improvise over standard tunes using just their major scales. Tony has performed as trombonist, bass trombonist, or pianist with 70 major artists including Ella Fitzgerald, George Shearing, Mel Tormé, Billy Eckstine, Doc Severinsen, Louie Bellson, Dave Brubeck, and Phil Collins. A Bach/Selmer clinician/soloist and avid scat-singer, he is Associate Jazz Editor for the International Trombone Association Journal, Past Editor of the IAJE Jazz Education Journal, Past President of IAJE-IL, Board Secretary of The Midwest Clinic, previously a board member of the Illinois Coalition for Music Education, and is Co-Editor/Contributing Author of Teaching Jazz: A Course of Study. He serves as a Network Expert (for Improvisation Materials) for the Jazz Education Network. His articles have been widely published; and his compositions have been published by Kjos, Hal Leonard, Kendor, Doug Beach, ejazzlines, Walrus, UNC Jazz Press, Three-Two Music, and his own company. He is the subject of an extensive interview within Bonanza: Insights and Wisdom from Professional Jazz Trombonists (Advance Music) and authored a chapter within The Jazzer’s Cookbook (Meredith Music). Visit his web site at
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  • Roosevelt Griffin III
  • Dr. Roosevelt Griffin III is an award-winning educator with international acclaim for excellence in music education. He is the President and CEO of the Griffin Institute of Performing Arts; where music, theater, and dance are used as vehicles to bring professionals, community members, and experts from all walks of life together to assist diverse learners in discovering their full potential.  This is done through proven instructional strategies and a strong commitment to student success.  He is also the director of bands for Harvey School District 152 and director for the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s Youth Ensemble.Some of his most notable performances as an educator include performances at the Chicago Jazz Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, Jazz Education Network’s International Conference, Auditorium Theater, ASCD International Conference, and the Chicago Jazz Showcase.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 to share his transformative approaches to teaching music. Among these include the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazz Educators Network, Missouri Music Educators Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Northern Illinois University, Columbia College, and Prairie State College. His approach to teaching 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.  He recently co-authored the latest addition to GIA Publication’s TMTP series, “Teaching Music Through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles”.Dr. Griffin’s work has brought him several prestigious honors. Most recently, he received the “2019 Dream Maker" award from the Bronzeville Children's Museum and the 2019 Chicago Defender’s “Men of Excellence Award”. In 2018, the Illinois Education Association awarded him its highest honor, the “Reg Weaver Award for Human and Civil Rights”. In 2017, the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation selected him as a Semi-Finalist for the “Grammy Award for Music Educator” and the Jazz Institute of Chicago awarded him “Jazz Educator of the Year”. In 2015, Dr. Griffin received the “ Most Outstanding Alumni” award from the Northern Illinois University Alumni Association as well as a Jefferson Award for excellence in teaching from the District 205 Ambassadors of the Jefferson Award Foundation. After 10 years serving students in Harvey, IL, Griffin received the prestigious Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation in 2014. Later that same year, his hometown of Harvey, Illinois, honored him by renaming his childhood street “Roosevelt Griffin III Avenue”.Dr. Griffin earned a bachelor of music degree from NIU in 2001, Master’s Degree in School Leadership from Concordia University in 2011, Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University and attended Northwestern University as a Scholar during a sabbatical awarded through the Golden Apple Foundation.
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  • Ellen Rowe
  • Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins.  Prior to her appointment in Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.Ms. Rowe has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S., as well as touring in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, South Africa and Australia. CDs out under her own name include “Sylvan Way”, “Wishing Well”, “Denali Pass” and “Courage Music.”  Her latest project, “Momentum – Portraits of Women In Motion”, featuring Ingrid Jensen, Tia Fuller, Marion Hayden and Allison Miller will be released in January 2019. Also active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne, Grieg Academy in Bergen and the Royal Academy of Music in London, in addition to many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country.When not leading her own trio, quartet or quintet, she is in demand as a sideman, having performed with a wide variety of jazz artists including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton, Ingrid Jensen and Steve Turre.  She was also a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s  “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio.Ms. Rowe's compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz ensembles and orchestras around the world, including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, London Symphony, DIVA and the Perth Jazz Orchestra.  Many of these works can be heard on recordings including “Leave It To DIVA”, “The Perth Jazz Orchestra”, “Bingo” (The Bird of Paradise Orchestra) and “I Believe In You” (DIVA). She has recently been a composer-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  A recipient of jazz ensemble commissions from the Minnesota Band Directors Association, Belleville (MI) High School,  Illinois Music Educators and Lawrence University’s Fred Sturm Jazz Festival, her big band compositions are currently published by Sierra Music Publications, Doug Beach Music and Kendor Music.Having been selected to conduct the NAfME All-Eastern and All-Northwest Jazz Ensembles as well as All-State jazz ensembles throughout the country, she has also been an invited clinician at the National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Convention, International Society for Jazz Composition and Arranging Symposium and Jazz Education Network conferences.  She is on the Board of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers and also serves as the Coordinator for the JEN Sisters In Jazz Collegiate Combo Competition. Her quintet has performed at the San Jose Jazz Festival, Jazz Education Network Conference, Michigan Jazz Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival and in jazz clubs around the country. Other activities include serving as an adjudicator and mentor for the JEN Young Composers Showcase, adjudicating the 2019 Kimmel Center Jazz Residencies and Lincoln Center Ertegun Hall of Fame. She also serves on the faculty of the NJPAC All-Female Jazz Residency in Newark, NJ. In 2017 she was named a UCROSS Composer Fellow and awarded a residency at the Leighton Artist Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts.