Born in 2001 in Hackensack, NJ, Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. Matthew’s piano playing and Hammond organ and keyboard skills are off the charts. Light and airy when needed, rough and dirty when needed.
His love for playing music first began at the young age of 3 after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. at just 10 years old, he was invited to perform at Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame.
Three years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists and at 16 he released his debut album “Outta The Box”. When he was born, however, everything was against such a career. Born prematurely and blind, doctors gave him little chance of a long life and even less of such abilities.
Matthew has toured both here in the US and abroad, performing on world renowned stages, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and almost every jazz institution in the USA and venues in France, Italy, Germany, England, Indonesia, Japan and Morocco…
His latest album “Connections” is a blend of original compositions and classic melodies by Whitaker’s musical heroes, from Duke Ellington and Stevie Wonder to Richard Smallwood, Duke Pearson, Chick Corea and Thelonious Monk. Guest musicians include Jon Batiste (keyb), Regina Carter (vln), Alvester Garnett (dr) and Steve Oquendo (trp).
After the two promising predecessors, he takes another leap forward with this album, proving his maturity as a musician, composer and bandleader. His interpretations showcase a unique musical identity, marked by increased self-assurance, rhythmic strength, and clear melodies. Matthew Whitaker can’t stand still – he keeps evolving at a breathtaking pace. Live, he is a delight. We recommend the recording of his performance at Jazzahead 2019. Now is your chance to experience Matthew Whitaker in a club atmosphere.
Monday, 6.11.2023 | Doors 19:30 / Starts 20:30 CET
Gretchen | Obentrautstraße 19-21 in 10963 Berlin