He was born in New York City and moved to California in his teens. He took up the steelpan at a very young age in Queens, New York. His father Murray Narell was a social worker who invited Ellie Mannette to bring steel pan to New York city in an attempt to get kids off the streets, out of gangs, and into steelbands.
Narell studied music at the University of California, Berkeley, and played piano with the University of California Jazz Ensembles under the direction of Dr. David W. Tucker. He was graduated in 1973.
He has performed with the Caribbean Jazz Project, Montreux, Sakésho, Calypsociation, and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He additionally composed and arranged music for Trinidad's national steelband competition Panorama. Narell also performed in South Africa in 1999 in front of a crowd of 80,000 people.
He has a brother Jeff Narell, who is a pan player with his own style and records. He has two children, Isaac Narell and Mia Narell., and currently resides in Paris.
- The Passage (Heads Up, 2004.)
- Tatoom (Heads Up, 2007)
- University of Calypso w/Relator (Heads Up, 2009)
- Hidden Tresure (Inner City, 1979)
- Stickman (Windham Hill Records, 1981)
- Light in Your Eyes (Windham Hill Records, 1983)
- Slow Motion (Windham Hill Records, 1985)
- The Hammer (Windham Hill Records, 1987)
- Little Secrets (Windham Hill Records, 1989)
- Down the Road (Windham Hill Records, 1992)
- The Long Time Band (Windham Hill Records, 1995)
- Behind the Bridge (Heads Up, 1998)
- Fire in the Engine Room (Heads Up, 2000)
- Live in South Africa (Heads Up, 2001)
- Live at Montreux (Windham Hill, 1984)
- Chiaroscuro (Windham Hill, 1985)
- Sign Language (Windham Hill, 1987)
With Caribbean Jazz Project
- The Caribbean Jazz Project (Heads Up, 1995)
- Island Stories (Heads Up, 1997)
- Sakésho (Heads Up, 2002)
- We Want You to Say... (Heads Up, 2005)
- Sampler '96 (Windham Hill Records, 1996)
- A Winter's Solstice III (Windham Hill Records, 1990)
- The Bach Variations (Windham Hill Records, 1994)
- A Winter's Solstice IV (Windham Hill Records, 1993)
- The Firm (Soundtrack, 1993)
- Brazil Duets (Mike Marshall)
- Outbound (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones)
- Live at the Quick (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones)
- The seventh one (Toto)
- Lunatic Taxi (Sixun)
- Good to Go-Go (Spyro Gyra)
- Happy Just to Be Like I Am (Taj Mahal)
- Del Sol (Dave Samuels)
- "Andy Narell at All About Jazz". Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
- Yanow, Scott. "Andy Narell Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 6 April 2010.