picture of Matthew Whitaker
Matthew Whitaker
Matthew (*2001 in Hackensack, NJ)) is a jazz pianist and organist. Blind since birth, he has performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater, where, at 10, he was the opening performer for Stevie Wonder's induction into the Apollo Theater's Hall of Fame.
On his third birthday, he played "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on a toy Yamaha keyboard he had received as a birthday present. Matthew had heard the song and played it by ear.
Matthew began taking piano lessons when he was five as the youngest student at The Filomen M. D'Agostino Greenberg Music School, a New York school for the blind and visually impaired. With perfect pitch, he learned to play piano mainly by listening, although he learned to read Braille music as well. He later studied at The Harlem School of the Arts, and in addition to taking lessons in classical and jazz piano, he learned to play the organ, percussion instruments, the clarinet and bass guitar. At age 9, Matthew began teaching himself to play the Hammond B-3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. He earned the support of the Jazz Foundation of America, and as a teenager, he attended the Manhattan School of Music's Pre-College Jazz program. His playing was influenced by Jimmy Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Barry Harris, Erroll Garner, and Thelonious Monk.
In April 2017, Whitaker performed on the Ellen Degeneres Show and competed on Fox's Showtime at the Apollo, winning first place. Whitaker has toured Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Among other venues, he has performed at the main concert hall at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
source: Wikipedia
contact: matthewwhitakermusic@gmail.com
homepage: www.matthewwhitaker.net
on tour Click on the logo to see Matthew's tour dates.


On Their Shoulders: An Organ Tribute
Mocat Records
Matthew Whitaker, piano, Hammond B-3 organ
Marcos Robinson, guitar
Liany Mateo, bass
John Steele, drums
Ivan Llanes, percussion

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