On Sunday, November 17, 2019, at Boston Court Pasadena, a full house enjoyed a very special event in celebration of the Jackie Robinson Centennial, presented by the Baseball Reliquary. Included was a performance of Stealin’ Home, Bobby Bradford’s tribute to Jackie Robinson, commissioned by the Baseball Reliquary. A renowned jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, Bradford is also noted for his long career as an educator, teaching jazz history and improvisation for over three decades at Pasadena City College and Pomona College. Bradford’s jazz suite was performed by an all-star ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Chuck Manning (tenor saxophone), William Roper (tuba), Don Preston (keyboard), Henry Franklin (bass), and Tina Raymond (drums).
The Donavan/Muradian Quintet opened the program with a selection of songs played at Jackie and Rachel Robinson’s inaugural “Afternoon of Jazz” concert in Stamford, Connecticut in 1963. The quintet featured Kye Palmer (trumpet), Chuck Manning (tenor saxophone), Chad Edwards (keyboard), Larry Muradian (bass), and Jeff Donavan (drums). Songs included, in order, “Hi-Fly” (Randy Weston), “Work Song” (Nat Adderley), “In Your Own Sweet Way” (Dave Brubeck), and “Take the ‘A’ Train” (Billy Strayhorn).