Director of Jazz Studies, Piano
Studio: Mason Hall 107
Phone: (256) 283 - 2985
JSU Jazz Studies
Dr. Andy Nevala, Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Piano, Jazz Ensembles, Combos, Jazz History, Contemporary Jazz Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, Latin Ensemble
Director of Jazz Studies at Jacksonville State University, Dr. Andy Nevala currently directs the Downbeat Award Winning Jazz Ensemble I (2015), Jazz Ensemble IV, the Latin Ensemble, oversees the Jazz Combo program, produces the annual Jazz Festival (in it's 12th year), and teaches Jazz and Classical 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 he will be presenting at the CMEA conference in Colorado Springs, CO, both in January. JSU Jazz Ensemble I performed at JEN in New Orleans in 2020, and in 2022 at the AMEA Conference in Birmingham, AL.
Dr. Nevala has been recognized by Downbeat magazine on 10 different occasions, winning individual Downbeat Music Awards for composition (2002), arranging (2003), and performing/directing (2000, 2001, 2002, 2015). The JSU Jazz recording “Everything In It’s Right Place” was completed in 2015 and was recognized in Downbeat Magazine for “Outstanding Performance, Undergraduate Jazz Ensemble”.
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 conducted 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 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, Eddie Turner, and has performed multiple times with the Pensacola Symphony with Byron Stripling, Carmen Bradford, Dee Daniels, 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 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.
Having studied under Dr. John Davis, Chip Stephens, Art Lande and Pat Bianci, Dr. Nevala holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Piano Pedagogy from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Master of Music degree in Music Theory and Composition from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Boise State University.
His professional affiliations include the Jazz Education Network (JEN), the Alabama Music Educators Association (AMEA), The Atlanta Federation of Musicians, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).