SFA jazz bands

The jazz bands of Stephen F. Austin State University will perform in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Cole Concert Hall.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The jazz bands of Stephen F. Austin State University will perform original works by SFA music faculty members, along with the music of Sammy Nestico, Duke Ellington and other jazz greats, in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in Cole Concert Hall.
The Swingin’ Axes, directed by Dr. JD Salas, will perform “Ymir’s Bones” by Dr. Ben Morris, assistant professor of composition, from Morris’ debut album, "Pocket Guides," released in June 2022 on Origin/OA2 Records.
“The work takes elements from Norwegian folk music, jazz and contemporary music,” Salas said. “The album garnered him two Downbeat Awards, an ASCAP Herb Alpert Award, a big band commission from New York Youth Symphony's First Music and an invitation to perform with his quintet at Newport Jazz Festival.” Morris was recently awarded a second ASCAP Herb Alpert Award in 2023.
The Axes will also perform “Fuego Frio,” written by Richard Birk, adjunct professor of jazz scoring and arranging. Birk is also the coordinator of music and an associate professor of music at Brazosport College where he has served the college and community for 38 years. Twice recognized as Brazosport College's Piper Professor Nominee and Teacher of Excellence, Birk directs the BC Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble as well the professional big band, the Brazosport Jazz Orchestra.
The other prominent piece to be performed by the Swingin’ Axes is Ben Irom’s arrangement of “African Skies” by Michael Brecker. This piece will feature lead tenor saxophone Jacob Soto of League City and Chase Adams of Canyon Lake on drums.  
The Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. Jake Walburn, will perform “By My Side” by Sammy Nestico; “Caravan” by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol; “Without a Song” arranged by Rick Stitzel; “Act Your Age” by Gordon Goodwin; “My Romance” by Richard Rogers and Lorenzo Hard; and “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis.
Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu/events/2023/04#2123. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.