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Our Faculty 

is what makes us special. Study with world-class jazz artists and educators through private lessons, classes, and ensemble rehearsals. Our faculty consists of Grammy-winning artists and musicians who have performed with top industry names in Chicago, New York, and internationally, and who are also professors in local universities. 

Past faculty has included: 

Pharez Whitted (trumpet)

Sharel Casstiy (saxophone)

Richard Johnson (piano)

Clark Sommers (bass)

Neal Hemphill (drums)

Kyle Swan (drums)

Christian Yi (piano, young artist)

Alejandro Salazar (drums, young artist) 

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Sharel Cassity

President and Director of Jazz Up

Saxophone Faculty

  • ​Voted Downbeat Magazine Rising Star Alto Saxophone and Soprano Saxophone since 2009

  • Member of the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Band

  • Performed with Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Roy Hargrove, and many others

  • Bandleader with six albums released and performances all over the globe

  • Professor at DePaul University in Chicago and Elgin Community College, Elgin IL

  • Graduate of the Juilliard Jazz Program and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, New York, NY

​                         For more information, visit: 


                               Sharel Cassity Wiki Page

Richard D. Johnson

Vice President of Jazz Up

Piano Faculty

  • Former member of Wynton Marsalis' Septet and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

  • Performs regularly with Delfeayo Marsalis and Bobby Watson  

  • Professor at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and at the Ravinia Jazz Institute in Chicago

  • Graduate of Berklee College of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz​

For more information, visit:

Richard Johnson Wiki Page

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