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Matthew Whitaker is music. To see and hear him play is to know that divine talent exists. Beyond his innate musical abilities is a sheer joy and passion to create music.
Born in 2001 in Hackensack, New Jersey, jazz pianist and composer Matthew Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for playing music first began at the young age of 3, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard.
At 9, Whitaker began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B-3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its more than eighty-year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.
Whitaker has performed with an array of outstanding musicians: Ray Chew, Christian McBride, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rhoda Scott, Cameron Carpenter, Regina Carter, Jon Batiste, Cory Henry, Marc Cary, Arturo O’Farrill, James Carter, Roy Ayers, D. D. Jackson, the New York Pops Orchestra, and with Hamiet Bluiett and his Bio-Electric Ensemble.
In 2019, Whitaker received the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for his original song “Emotions!” In the midst of worldwide tours and appearances, he was able to get back in the studio to release his latest album Now Hear This, available now.