Dr. Andy Nevala

Director of Jazz Studies

Mason Hall 107
(256) 782-5883 

Director of Jazz Studies at Jacksonville State University, Dr. Andy Nevala directs the Downbeat Award Winning Jazz Ensemble I (2023, 2015), Jazz Ensemble IV, the Latin Ensemble, oversees the Jazz Combo program, produces the annual Jazz Festival (in it's 13th year), and teaches Jazz piano lessons. As Director of Jazz Studies, he has overseen the JSU Jazz program more than double in size during his time at JSU, with performances in the community, at regional festivals, and Middle and High Schools in the area.

His quartet was selected to perform at the 2023 JEN International Conference in Orlando, and JSU Jazz Ensemble I performed at JEN in New Orleans in 2020. Jazz Ensemble I also performed in 2022 and 2017 at the AMEA Conference in Birmingham, AL.

Dr. Nevala has been recognized by Downbeat magazine on 11 different occasions, winning individual Downbeat Music Awards for composition (2002), arranging (2003), and performing/directing (2000, 2001, 2002, 2015, 2023).

He is in demand as guest conductor, performer, and clinician, with recent guest artist performances at the Dave Brubeck Institute (Stockton, CA), the University of the Pacific (Stockton CA), California State University, Stanislaus (Turlock, CA), Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, LA), Troy University (Troy, AL), and the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL). He has been a conducter at the 2010 Campbell Union District Music Festival Jazz Ensemble in San Jose, CA, the Rome, GA District 7 Jazz Festival, and was the 2013 Alabama Music Educators Association Gold All-State Jazz Ensemble Director. He served as a clinician at the University of Wisconsin-Deluth Jazz Festival, the Jackson County High School LGPE, the Delta College Jazz Festival, the Folsom High School Jazz Festival, the CMEA Hanford Jazz Festival, the Sacramento State University Jazz Festival, the Manteca High School Combo Festival, The Boise State University Gene Harris Jazz Festival, and the Casper College Jazz Festival. He has also presented at AMEA, GMEA, performed in the GMEA Sight-Reading Big Band, and directed the AMEA Sight-Reading Big Band.

Professionally, Dr. Nevala has toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, vocalist Steve Lippia, guitarist Eddie Turner, and has performed with the Pensacola Symphony with Byron Stripling, Carmen Bradford, Dee Daniels, Michael Andrew, and Gunhild Carling, and with the Meridian Symphony with Michael Andrew and Gunhild Carling. He has recorded on over 20 CDs released in the US, Japan, and South America and maintains an active performing schedule in the Southeastern US Region.

An active arranger and orchestrator, Dr. Nevala arranges music for the JSU Jazz Ensembles and Combos, and has been commissioned to arrange for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Denver Brass, the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra, Orchestra MaCuba, the Steve Lippia Big Band, and arrangements published by 3-2 Music Publishing. He has also orchestrated, conducted, and arranged music for the Malt Jupiter Theater in Jupiter, Florida, and arranges/orchestrates musicals for the COPA Conservatory.

Andy Nevala

Courses Taught

  • Jazz Ensembles I, IV
  • Combos 1, 2
  • Jazz PIano
  • Jazz History
  • Jazz Pedagogy
  • Contemporary Jazz Theory
  • Latin Ensemble
  • Jazz Arranging I
  • Jazz Arranging II


  • Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Piano Pedagogy from the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado
  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Boise State University.

Publications and Presentations