Jazz Studies Program


Welcome to the website of the Award-Winning Jacksonville State University Jazz Program! A premiere jazz program in the state, and one recognized for its successes both nationally and internationally. Our program, the largest in Alabama, has 4 large Jazz Ensembles and 7 Combos. The program also boasts a Latin Ensemble and a Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Private jazz instruction is offered on every instrument from esteemed faculty and a wealth of performance opportunities are  provided to students studying jazz.

The 8th Annual Jazz Festival will be held April 5th, 2019. This festival will feature drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts with JSU Jazz Ensemble I. The JSU Jazz Festival is the only regional jazz festival in the state of Alabama that's primary focused on education. Clinics will be provided throughout the day, in addition to performances by the JSU jazz faculty and jazz ensembles. 


JSU Jazz Ensemble I was a recipient of a Downbeat Magazine 2015 Student Award for "Outstanding Performance, Collegiate Jazz Ensemble." Look for us in the June 2015 Issue of Downbeat!

The new CD is out! The "White Album" features JSU Jazz I performing Curnow and Menza charts, the Steel Band, and the Latin Ensemble. Come get your copy today! Our First CD, The "Black Album", recorded at Bates Brothers Studios and released in December 2014, features JSU Jazz Ensemble 1 playing songs from the Radiohead Jazz Project in addition to the music of Jim McNeely. The recording also features the JSU Jazz Faculty performing originals by Chris Enghauser (Bass), Dr. Dave Lambert (Trombone), and an arrangement by Dr. Andy Nevala (Piano, Director of Jazz Studies).

Pick up your copy of "Everything In Its Right Place" today!

For information about ensemble placement and scholarships, contact Dr. Nevala!

[email protected] 

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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