Pianist, arranger, educator. John L. Malachi was born September 6, 1919 in Durham, North Carolina; died February 11, 1987 in Washington, D.C.
Attended Armstrong High School. Was active as a teenager, playing at the Atlantic Beer Gardens and then the Jungle Inn in 1936.
Toured and recorded with Trummy Young in 1943 and 1944 before joining the newly-formed Billy Eckstine Orchestra in June 1944. His “Opus X” was a notable contribution to the band’s repertoire. When the big band dissolved in 1946, Malachi continued to work as accompanist to Eckstine through 1947. Subsequently worked with Illinois Jacquet, Dinah Washington, Pearl Bailey, Louis Jordan (1951), Bennie Green (1952). From 1953 to 1954, Malachi played with Sarah Vaughan’s trio, recording and touring the United States as well as England and France. He appeared with Dakota Staton at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival, and with other singers including Ann Read (1964), Gloria Lynn, Al Hibbler, and Joe Williams.
In the 1970s he regularly appeared at Pigfoot. Malachi taught privately and then at Howard University, beginning in 1979.