Andy Nevala currently directs Jazz Ensembles I, II, and III, The Latin ensemble, three combos, the Annual Jazz Festival (in it’s 3rd year), and teaches several private jazz students. He was formerly the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at California State University, Stanislaus, where he conducted the Jazz Ensemble, Combos I-V, the Latin Ensemble, the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and taught courses including Jazz Pedagogy for the Music Educator, Jazz Improvisation, Jazz History, Jazz Piano, Jazz Arranging, and private lessons to the upper-division Jazz Studies Majors.
Dr. Nevala has been recognized by Downbeat magazine on nine different occasions, winning individual Downbeat Music Awards for composition (2002), arranging (2003), and performing/directing (2000, 2001, 2002). He also maintains an active performance schedule in the San Francisco area and across the United States and Europe.
He is widely in demand as guest conductor and clinician, conducting the 2010 Campbell Union District Music Festival Jazz Ensemble in San Jose, CA, serving as a clinician at the Delta College Jazz Festival (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), the Folsom High School Jazz Festival (2008, 2010), the CMEA Hanford Jazz Festival (2009), the Sacramento State University Jazz Festival (2008, 2009), the Manteca High School Combo Festival (2010), The Boise State University Gene Harris Jazz Festival (2003, 2008), the Casper College Jazz Festival (2007), the Rome, GA District 7 Jazz Festival (2012,2013), and was the 2013 Alabama Music Educators Association Gold All-State Jazz Ensemble Director.
While at the University of Northern Colorado he performed and recorded with UNC Lab I under the direction of Dr. Gene Aitkin, performing with Conrad Hertwig, Brian Lynch, Louis Bellson, Peter Erskine, and Pete Fountain. He opened for Kurt Elling, Russell Malone, Poncho Sanchez and McCoy Tyner. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, he performed and recorded with Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Dr. John Davis, and Combo I, directed by Chip Stephens, and performed with Chris Potter, Jiggs Whigam, and James Carter.
Professionally, Dr. Nevala has performed/toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra (US Touring Orchestra 1 Tour of Japan, 2 tours of Canada), Steve Lippia (2 US tours, Fresno CA Symphony, Las Cruces NM Symphony, Corpus Christie TX Symphony), Eddie Turner (3 tours of Europe), The ProJazz Trio (Bassist Gonzalo Teppa, Drummer Tyer Hornby; two Venezuelan tours, tour of Canada), Mazacote (San Francisco, CA), Orquesta Borinquen (San Francisco, CA), Conjunto Colores (Denver, CO), Orkestra MaCuba (Atlanta, GA); Nelson Rangell (Denver, CO), Mart Avant and Nightflight (Birmingham, AL), and many more. He maintains an active performing schedule in the Southeastern US Region.
Dr. Nevala has also been commissioned to arrange for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Denver Brass, the Steve Lippia Big Band, The Maltz Theater, Conjunto Colores, several San Francisco Bay Area groups, Atlanta’s Orkestra MaCuba, and has recorded on over 20 CDs released in the US, Japan, and South America. Most recently, he recorded on San Francisco trombonist Jamie Dubberly’s “Orqestra Darma”, which was selected Next Generation Latin Jazz Artist for 2011 and featured Sam Bevan, Larl Perazzo, Omar Ledezma Jr., and Carlos Caro, among others.
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 ASCAP, JEN, AMEA, and AMA.