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Malachi Thompson

Malachi Thompson is a composer, band leader, trumpet soloist, artist, teacher and arts activist. Born in Princeton, Kentucky on August 21, 1949, Thompson's jazz roots are on Chicago's South Side. In 1968, he joined the influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) playing the music of Henry Threadgill and Richard Muhal Abrams. He also became a member of Dr. M.L. King's Operation Breadbasket Orchestra, the musical arm of SCLC in 1968, working for civil rights for African Americans. In 1974, after completing work for a degree in Music Composition, Thompson was encouraged to move to NYC by jazz legend Art Blakey. While in NYC, Thompson performed with many of the greatest names in jazz: Joe Henderson, Sam Wooding, Jackie McLean, Frank Foster, Leon Thomas, Sam Rivers, Lester Bowie, and Archie Shepp to name a few. In 1978, he formed the highly acclaimed Freebop Band. After 10 years in NYC, he moved to Washington DC and later Vienna, Austria performing and composing for various bands. In 1989, Thompson was diagnosed with cancer and returned to his native Chicago. After his recovery, he became an outspoken advocate for jazz and arts education. He is also a published writer and jazz historian. He often performs or serves as an artist in residence in Chicago's public schools. He conducts master classes, jazz workshops and lectures on all things jazz at colleges and universities nationwide.

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