Baseball Swing features a guest narrator from the Baseball Music Hall of Fame and two vocalists performing orchestral arrangements such as “The Baseball Polka” written in 1858, John Philip Sousa’s “The National Game,” “The Umpire is a Most Unhappy Man,” Ruth Gehrig’s “I Cant Get to First Base without You,” “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball,” “Let’s Keep The Dodgers in Brooklyn,” “Damn Yankees,” and many others, including music from the great baseball films Field of Dreams and The Natural.
Throughout the performance, hundreds of rare, vintage photographs are shown including iconic baseball fields such as Comiskey Park, Yankee Stadium, and Fenway, in addition to candid portraits of former players.
Baseball and music have been indelibly intertwined since the sport’s inception. Nearly one hundred songs were written about baseball between 1858 and 1900 alone, and the major collections of baseball music in the USA (the Library of Congress, the Newberry Library, the Levy Collection at Johns Hopkins, and the Steele Collection at the National Baseball Hall of Fame) contain nearly one thousand works written about the sport, commencing with the first known piece of baseball music, J.R. Blodgett’s “The Baseball Polka,” composed in 1858.
The public’s awareness of music’s historical relationship to baseball, however, is generally limited to Albert von Tilzer’s famous “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” or to more recent tunes like “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio” and “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?” Yet few people are aware that the March King, John Philip Sousa, composed “The National Game,” dedicating it to Baseball Commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, or that Lou Gehrig’s wife, Ruth Gehrig penned the tune “I Can’t Get to First Base Without You.” Few are aware of such turn-of-the century musical gems such as “Slide, Kelly, Slide,” “The Baseball Polka,” or “Hurrah For Our National Game.”
The Baseball Music Project launched a series of concerts celebrating the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the great lineage of baseball music, starting in 2005. Baseball Swing, the next generation of those concerts, is presented in association with the Baseball Music Project and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
- Concert Duration: 2 hrs (inclusive of a 20 min intermission)
- Soloists: Narrator, Female Vocalist, Male Vocalist
- Instrumentation: Soloists + 2(III:pic).2+ca.2+bcl.2+cbn/4.4.2+btbn.1/timp+dmkt+2perc/pf.hp/str(10/8/8/8/6)
- Instrumentation negotiable with use of miking
- Drummer must play jazz drums
- Pianist should be able to play in classical and jazz styles, although improv not essential
- Preferable that one contrabassist can play in classical and jazz styles
For bookings and further information, please contact us.