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. A Minor in Jazz Studies is now being offered to students.
The 9th Annual Jazz Festival will be held April 10th, 2020. This festival will feature trumpeter Mike Williams, former lead trumpet player for the Count Basie Orchestra for 31 years, with JSU Jazz Ensemble I.
The JSU Jazz Festival is the only regional jazz festival in the state of Alabama that is primarily focused on education. Clinics will be provided throughout the day, in addition to performances by the JSU jazz faculty and jazz ensembles.
JSU Jazz Selected to Perform at the 2020 Jazz Education Network Conference
The most important performance in the history of JSU’s Jazz Ensemble I will take place on January 10, 2020, when the group will travel to New Orleans to perform at the Jazz Education Network’s International Conference. JSU is the only Alabama university invited to perform.
The 18-member ensemble will perform for roughly 600 people in a prime spot on the last day of the conference, said director Andy Nevala.
“I’ve attended these conferences a lot, so for us to get picked – it’s probably the biggest moment of my career at JSU and for the program itself,” Dr. Nevala said. “Just about every collegiate band director tries to get selected to this conference. It’s prestigious. They usually don’t choose colleges our size, so it was a wonderful surprise.”
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JSU Jazz Ensemble I was a recipient of a Downbeat Magazine2015 Student Award for "Outstanding Performance, Collegiate Jazz Ensemble." Look for us in the June 2015 Issue of Downbeat!
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 each CD today!
For information about ensemble placement and scholarships, contact Dr. Nevala!