Music Institute of Chicago launches Jazz Studies Program

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Core curriculum to include private instruction, combos, jazz musicianship, improvisation, and more


The Music Institute of Chicago, one of the nation’s largest and most successful community music schools, announced an exciting new jazz studies program. Beginning this fall, students of all ages and levels of experience may explore jazz through private instruction and small ensembles as well as classes in improvisation and musicianship.
MIC’s Jazz Studies Program is directed by Audrey Morrison, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and veteran jazz trombonist and educator in Chicago.

“The new Jazz Studies program adds an exciting new dimension to an already outstanding program at MIC,” said Morrison. “Our goal is to provide students of all ages and abilities with a knowledge, appreciation, and passion for jazz. We will give our students individual attention as they develop greater creativity, self-expression, and confidence through learning to improvise. We also plan to expand MIC’s role in the community to include jazz events of all types.”

Joining Morrison on the program’s faculty is a group of respected jazz musicians and educators including Ernie Adams, jazz drums and Latin percussion; Art Davis, trumpet; Victor Garcia, trumpet; Jeremy Kahn, piano; Pat Mallinger, saxophone; and Stewart Miller, bass.
Said MIC President and CEO Mark George, “We are proud to augment our strong curriculum with a high-quality program in jazz. MIC employs the best trained and most experienced teachers so that every student is nurtured to his/her full potential. The Jazz Studies Program is an excellent way for young students to enjoy making music and prepare to participate in the many fine jazz programs at area high schools and colleges.”

The ceremonial kick-off for the Jazz Studies Program takes place Saturday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Nichols Concert Hall in Evanston, with a concert by the internationally renowned Marcus Roberts Trio.

About MIC’s New Jazz Faculty
  • Ernie Adams, jazz drums and Latin percussion, has toured with Ramsey Lewis, Stanley Turrentine, Dizzy Gillespie, and many other jazz legends. He is currently on percussion faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago and the Ravinia Jazz Mentors. 
  • Art Davis, trumpet, has toured with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney and others. He is a member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and the Red Rose Ragtime Band. He is a professor of Jazz Studies at Northern Illinois University.
  • Victor Garcia, trumpet, has performed with Rufus Reid, Steve Turre, Harriet Bluiett, and Brian Lynch. He is founder and co-leader of the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble. He currently is on faculty at Loyola University.
  • Jeremy Kahn, piano, has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, and many others. He is a graduate of New England Conservatory of Music. He is a member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and pianist/conductor of Hot Mikado at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace
  • Pat Mallinger, saxophone, has performed with Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Harry Connick, Ramsey Lewis, and many others. He is co-leader of the Sabertooth Quartet and a member of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Bobby Lewis Quintet, the Pat Mallinger Quartet, and others. He is a faculty member of the Ravinia Jazz Mentors.
  • Stewart Miller, bass, has recorded with Judy Roberts, Orbert Davis, Russ Philips, and others. He is a member of Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and is on jazz faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Audrey Morrison, program director and jazz trombone, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. She serves on the faculties of Columbia College Chicago, the Ravinia Festival, North Park University, and the Birch Creek Summer Jazz Academy. Morrison has toured and recorded with the Barrett Deems Big Band, the DIVA big band, and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble.
About the Music Institute of Chicago
The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) believes that music has the power to sustain and nourish the human spirit; therefore, our mission is to provide the foundation for lifelong engagement with music.
As one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the nation, MIC’s musical excellence is built on the strength of our distinguished faculty, commitment to quality, and breadth of programs and services. Founded in 1931, MIC is one of the oldest community music schools in Illinois. MIC is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Each year, our world-class music teachers and arts therapists provide the highest quality arts education to more than 5,000 students of all ability levels, from birth to 100 years of age at campuses in Evanston, Highland Park, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, and Winnetka. MIC also offers lessons and programs at Steinway of Chicago stores in Northbrook and Downers Grove and early childhood and community engagement programs throughout the Chicago area and the North Shore. MIC’s Nichols Concert Hall education/performance center, located in downtown Evanston, reaches approximately 14,000 people each year. MIC community engagement and partnership programs reach an additional 6,500 Chicago Public School students annually.
MIC offers lessons, classes, and programs through four distinct areas: Community School, The Academy, Creative Arts Therapy (Institute for Therapy through the Arts), and Nichols Concert Hall. 
For information about classes and private instruction, performances, or clinical services in arts therapy, please call 847.905.1500 or visit

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