Once again this year the Sheldon Concert Hall and the St. Louis Cardinals' Cardinals Care charity are teaming up to teach a new generation of potential fans and players about the connections between two great American pastimes: jazz and baseball.
The two organizations are sponsoring free educational jazz concerts featuring the Jeff Anderson Quartet for kids participating in the "Redbird Rookies" program, starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, June 24 and again at the same time tomorrow at the Sheldon, 3648 Washington Boulevard.
Kids attending the concerts will receive a free CD, Red Hot St. Louis Jazz, that features tracks recorded by local jazz musicians such as Willie Akins, Carolbeth True, Reggie and Mardra Thomas, Ptah Williams, Rick Haydon, Erin Bode, Kim Portnoy, Montez Coleman and more. A few lucky youngsters also will get the chance to try out their scat-singing skills live on stage with the band.
The "Redbird Rookies" program was started in 2004 to allow kids to play baseball free of charge; it provides donated equipment and uniforms as well training for volunteer coaches and parents that emphasizes the character-building aspects of sports.