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Classic Joe Viglione Writings: Malden Library’s jazzed up for concert series March 13, 2009


Malden Library’s jazzed up for concert series

The spring 2009 “Free Jazz Concert Series” at the Malden Public Library is ready to kick off next week with its first show on Wednesday, March 18.

The concerts are free and the gallery is handicapped accessible. The jazz performances are held on Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m., in the Ryder Art Gallery, located on the second floor of the library, 36 Salem St., Malden.

Toni Lynn Washington Band

On March 18, the fabulous Toni Lynn Washington Band is appearing live at the library; more information about this band can be found at

Her beautifully supple voice sets an easy mood on titles like “It’s My Turn Now” with a haunting harmonica playing atop Bruce Bears’ keyboards.

This band has some smoldering power and Toni’s voice, influenced by Nancy Wilson, Ruth Brown, Ella Johnson and others is commanding as she elegantly tells her recently minted ex in “It’s My Turn Now” to take a hike. The spins on MySpace are in the four thousand and five thousand range; her popular site gives a nice preview of Toni and her group’s skills with the sassy “I Don’t Want Nobody” as well as a live rendition of the Ray Charles classic, “Unchain My Heart.” Ray’s Top 10 hit from 1961 gets total reinvention in Toni’s hands and the man would be proud.

For four decades Toni has brought her talent to the stage having performed at the Saratoga Jazz Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, Memphis in May and the Newport Jazz Festival at Sea (aboard the QE2) as well as tours of Europe, the U.S. and Canada, over 2,500 performances since 1992.

Hearing the concert performance on MySpace gives a pretty clear indication of the fun that will be had on Wednesday night. Get there early, 6:15 p.m. or 6:30 p.m., because the seats fill up fast — and you can take in the artwork and meet some new faces and old before the show begins.

Tre Corda

On April 29, is a show with Tre Corda plus special guest Dominique Eade. This isn’t the classical music Tre Corda from St. Paul, Minn. Pianist Tim Ray, Greg Hopkins playing the trumpet and Eugene Friesen on cello are a regional New England band fusing classical with jazz — check out their Web page at

According to a press release from the library, “Tre Corda is a piano, trumpet and cello trio. Whether reinventing jazz standards, breathing fresh life into classical repertoire, or premiering their own original works, Tre Corda generates a compelling sound all its own. Their works blend composition and improvisation in new and unexpected ways, using the musical vocabulary of classical composers like Bartok and Stravinsky, as well as songs and ideas from the worlds of jazz and popular music.

Vocalist, composer and improviser Dominique Eade has toured all over the world, performed in the Boston area since the 80’s and is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory.”

Check out the music on Dominique’s own MySpace site, — her material is, like Toni Lynn’s, verging on the 5,000 hits mark with exquisite piano and bass backing her up on songs like “Inner Urge” and “Open Letter.”

The material is a real delight to listen to and this writer concurs with the official bio that her voice is “agile and versatile, perfectly suiting her formidable improvisational skills.” That bio also is on target calling her “a fierce interpreter of standards, Dominique is also a composer and lyricist, and has taught vocalists and instrumentalists at her alma mater, New England Conservatory, for 22 years. She recently received the NEC Outstanding Alumni award.”

This is another outstanding pairing...hopefully Ron Cox and the MATV staff can bring the cameras out for all these programs.

April Hall

On May 20, April Hall will be performing. April’s Web page is She also has music on The library site notes, “This graduate of the Berklee College of Music has been performing with New England’s finest musicians for the last 12 years. Her deep roots in southern gospel and blues combine with urban soulfulness and sophistication, to create music that’s pure, gutsy, and unmistakably authentic. Her focus is singing songs in the tradition of classic singers like Joe Williams, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Tony Bennett.”

April’s distinctive voice on titles like “I’ve Got The World On A String,” “Boogie Woogie Blues,” and “You Must Believe In Spring,” is both subtle and passionate. Well worth checking out on her MySpace, as well as at the library on May 20.

Visit each band or artist’s Web sites for more information and listen to sound clips. Much of the above information is available on the Malden Public Library Web site, The Malden Observer thanks Sothy Orn at the library for the advance notice.

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