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Matthew Whitaker, a resident of Hackensack NJ, is truly a gifted musician. His desire to play music began at 3 years old when his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At 9 years old Matthew began to teach himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ and at age 13 he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond Organ in its 81 year history!
Matthew attends the Lighthouse Music School for the Blind and Visually Impaired in New York City where he studies classical piano and drums. He also attends The Harlem School of the Arts where he studies jazz styles for the piano and is a member of the Advance Jazz Combo and Jazz House Kids in Montclair, NJ where he is a member of the organ ensemble.
He has performed before the UN Youth Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and internationally in Vienne France, Capri Italy, Tetouan Morocco, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Matthew has been recognized by various organizations and has appeared on US and Japanese television.
Matthew was a winning participant in the “Amateur Night at the Apollo Child Stars of Tomorrow”; opening performer for Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo’s hall of fame; guest artist for the Jazz Foundation of America Gala events; performed with Roy Ayers, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Rhoda Scott, Ray Chew, James Carter, Jon Batiste, D.D, Jackson, Arturo O'Farrill, Wayne Brady; Jazz Mafia Symphony; with Ozomatli and ‘The New York Pops’ Orchestra; and with Hamiet Bluiett and his Bio-Electric Ensemble. He can also be found playing the drums during worship service on 3rd Sundays for the Youth Choir at New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, New Jersey, his home church.
Matthew has written several original compositions. His artistic influences are composers/musicians Dr Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Rhoda Scott, Joey DeFrancesco, Charles Earland; Stevie Wonder, D.D. Jackson, Art Tatum, Ahmad Jamal, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Chick Corea, Jon Batiste, Chopin, Bach, and drummers Otis Brown III, Otis Brown Jr, Roy Haynes, T. S. Monk, Herlin Riley and Johnathan Blake.