From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Thompson, Malachi Richard

(born: 1949  -  died: 2006) 

Malachi Richard Thompson was born in Princeton, KY but grew up in Chicago, IL. He played the piano and trumpet and was a music activist and leader.

Thompson graduated from Governor's State University with a B.A in composition. He played with a number of bands before becoming a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) [founded in Chicago] in 1968. Thompson was also a member of Operation Breadbasket Big Band [Chicago], a division of the Southern Christian Leadership Council that played at rallies and marches.

In 1974 he moved to New York, where he continued to perform with various groups, including that of Sam Rivers, the grandson of Kentucky native Marshall W. (Boyd) Taylor.

Thompson also toured and recorded in Europe with Archie Shepp's band. He was a founding member of Bowie's Hot Trumpet Repertory Company [later called Brass Fantasy], and he founded the Freebop Band in 1978.

He continued traveling and playing until 1989 when he was diagnosed with t-cell lymphoma and returned to Chicago. He returned to music in 1991 to lead the Africa Brass band.

Thompson organized the Hyde Park/Kenwood Jazz Festival and founded the Sutherland Community Arts Initiative. His recordings include Buddy Bolden's Rag, Lift Every Voice, and Talking Horns.

For more see "Malachi Thompson, trumpeter, 56," New York Times, 7/20/2006, The Arts/Cultural Desk section, p. 7; and "Malachi Thompson" in the Oxford Music Online Database.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Caldwell County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Princeton, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Taylor, Marshall W. (Boyd)
NKAA Source: Buddy Bolden's rag: 100 years of jazz (album)
NKAA Source: Lift every voice (album)
NKAA Source: Talking horns (album)
NKAA Source: The New York times (newspaper)
NKAA Source: Oxford Music Online (database)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Thompson, Malachi Richard,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-12-08 17:37:41