SFA boasts two jazz bands. The Swingin' Axes, directed by Dr. JD Salas, has a long and distinguished history. Among its former directors are Gene Hall, founder of the jazz program at the University of North Texas, and Darrell Holt, under whom the band enjoyed national acclaim in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The Swingin' Axes have backed up some the world's best modern jazz artists, including:
- Bobby Shew
- Gary Foster
- Allen Vizzutti
- Eddie Daniels
- Marvin Stamm
- Mike Vax
- Chris Vadala
- Conrad Herwig
- and Jeff Coffin.
The band also makes a point of inviting in well-known regional artists, such as Tim Ishii, John Wasson, Tony Baker, Ron Wilkins, Randy Graham and many others.
SFA's jazz bands perform frequently on the SFA campus and in the surrounding community at schools and charity events.
All SFA students, regardless of major, are invited to participate in the jazz bands. Students are admitted through an audition process that occurs at the beginning of each new semester.