It is the goal of the JSU Jazz Studies Program to provide students with a demanding yet enjoyable environment for the learning of improvisation, theory, jazz styles, and ensemble performance concepts.
The Jazz Program offers all JSU students, music majors, non-music majors and students enrolled through the office of Continuing Education the opportunity to perform in jazz ensembles of recognized excellence. Because of the improvisatory element basic to jazz, participation in JSU Jazz Ensembles offer an important and unique opportunity for all students to develop their creative process.
The Jazz Ensembles at Jacksonville State University are active in performing a wide variety of styles, and combo students are encouraged to perform their own compositions and arrangements. Both large and small group ensembles perform regular concerts on campus and at top local, regional and international jazz festivals, including the Mobile Jazz Festival, the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Festival, and the JSU Jazz Festival. Ensembles frequently perform with guest artists from around the country such as Wycliffe Gordon, Dave D'Angelo, Lester Walker, and Marc Dickman, in both concerts and masterclasses. The program currently boasts four jazz ensembles, including the award-winning JSU Jazz Ensemble I, six combos, and the Latin Ensemble. Placement auditions for all JSU Jazz groups are held the first day of classes each semester; placement in JSU Jazz ensembles is by audition only.
Dr. Andy Nevala
Director of Jazz Studies