Stealin’ Home: A Musical Tribute to Jackie Robinson


Date & Time: Sunday, November 10, 2019, 4:00 p.m.

Location: Whittier College Memorial Chapel

Address: 12901 Philadelphia Street, Whittier, California

Information: (562) 907-4803 or (626) 791-7647

Whittier College Memorial Chapel

Jackie Robinson . . . Stealin’ Home.

The Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary present a very special event in celebration of the Jackie Robinson Centennial, Stealin’ Home: A Musical Tribute to Jackie Robinson, on Sunday, November 10, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., at the Whittier College Memorial Chapel, on the campus of Whittier College, 12901 Philadelphia Street, Whittier, California. Admission is free of charge. Doors to the chapel will open at 3:30 p.m. Plan to arrive early, as seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis.

The program will feature 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, approximately 45 minutes in length, will be performed by an all-star ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (trumpet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Chuck Manning (tenor saxophone), William Roper (tuba), Don Preston (piano), Henry Franklin (bass), and Tina Raymond (drums). Following the performance, Joseph L. Price, professor emeritus at Whittier College and co-director of the Institute for Baseball Studies, will host a conversation and Q&A with Bobby Bradford.

Bobby Bradford at the Institute for Baseball Studies, Whittier College, October 4, 2019

Over the years, Bobby Bradford has performed with Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden, James Newton, David Murray, and others. He is acclaimed for his work with Ornette Coleman, and for his long association with clarinetist John Carter, a pairing that began in the late 1960s. Following Carter’s death in 1991, Bradford fronted his own ensemble known as The Mo’tet, with which he has continued to perform since. Of the Stealin’ Home commission, Bradford has said, “When Jackie Robinson made his Major League debut in 1947, I was in the seventh grade in Dallas, Texas, and like many Americans, especially black people, I was overjoyed at the coming of our champion of baseball. Now, 72 years later, I have been given the opportunity to write music in his honor, and I am deeply grateful to the Baseball Reliquary for their confidence in me. Robinson was a great black man, a man of stature and courage, a great American, and an exceptional athlete. I hope in some small way to pay tribute to his memory with music.”

Poet Michael C Ford at Pie’n Burger, Pasadena, June 20, 2018

Los Angeles-based poet Michael C Ford, a legendary figure in the Southern California literary landscape since the 1970s, will open the program with a selection of his work, including his poem about the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, “From Flatbush to George Bush.” Ford’s collection of selected poems, Emergency Exits, was honored with a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1998. He is also a noted playwright and recording artist; his debut spoken-word vinyl, Language Commando, earned a Grammy nomination in 1986.

Before or after the program, visit the Wardman Library lobby to view the exhibition Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?, presented by the Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary.

Attendees can park for free in any lot on Philadelphia Street adjacent to the Whittier College Memorial Chapel.

This program is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.

Bobby Bradford’s ensemble during sound check prior to performance of “Stealin’ Home,” KPCC Crawford Family Forum, October 21, 2019

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