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Matthew Whitaker Quintet
February 18 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm$60
Born in 2001, Matthew Whitaker began playing music at age 3, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. By the time he was 15, he was the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history and the youngest to be named a Yamaha Artist, taking his place among stellar jazz pianists.
“He’s extraordinary,” American Idol music director and recording producer Ray Chew says of Matthew. “And you don’t want to put an asterisk next to it. He’s not extraordinary because he’s blind. He’s extraordinary because he’s extraordinary” (USA Today). “His approach to jazz is that of a distinctive soul…He’s immersed in the energy and spirit of the music he loves and lives to play” (The Miami Times).
”The fleetness of finger, the touch and taste, the grit and grime when he needs it, the lightness and airiness when it’s called upon — Whitaker has it all” (DownBeat). He has performed at major venues and festivals in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. His television appearances include Fox TV’s Showtime at the Apollo, the Today show, Ellen, and a 2020 segment on CBS’s 60 Minutes.
“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” (Monifa Brown, WGBO).