Sunday, January 18, 2009

Plaque on the wall honors the musical history and promise inside

Move over Faneuil Hall, Old South Meeting House and other designated historic sites in Boston. You have company. Company with a jazz connection that dates to the 1940s.

On January 30, Wally’s CafĂ© Jazz Club, originally known as Wally’s Paradise, will be recognized by the Boston Historical Society for its contributions to the city’s cultural fabric.

Among many other notables, Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday performed there, as did native son Roy Haynes in the 1940s and ‘50s. Haynes was back to sit in on occasion after Wally’s moved across the street to its current location at 427 Massachusetts Avenue and became a fertile performance space for young student players from the nearby Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory and other area schools, many of whom became part of subsequent generations of jazz greats.

That mission continues today under the management if brothers Frank, Lloyd and Paul Poindexter, and their mother, Elynor. The Poindexters took the reins after Elynor’s father, Joseph “Wally” Walcott, died in 1998. Walcott was the first African American to own a nightclub in New England. The club still presents live music nightly.

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