“Connections is the work of a seasoned jazz artist…full of wisely arranged covers, powerful originals, and in-studio improvisations with the likes of Jon Batiste and Derrick Hodge…remarkable, beautiful, brilliant.”
– Afropop Worldwide
Born in 2001 in Hackensack, NJ, 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, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its 80+ year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.
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 Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC; SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Telluride Jazz Festival and at international venues in France, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, UK, Australia, Switzerland, Portugal, Japan, Spain, Morocco, and South Korea.
In 2010, Matthew was a winning participant in the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” competition, as part of Amateur Night at the Apollo. A year later, at just 10 years old, he was invited to perform at Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame. He returned to the Apollo for FOX TV’s revival of Showtime at the Apollo in 2016, where he won the audience over with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s classic “I Wish.” Matthew has been on national and international radio and television, which includes the Today Show documentary series “Boys Changing the World,” Harry Connick Jr Show an appearance on the syndicated TV talk show Ellen and a segment on the most-watched news magazine on television 60 Minutes
2019 & 2020, Winner of the ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for his original compositions “Emotions & Underground!”
“Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow” (All Arts TV – 2022) – Producer, Musical Director, Arranger, and Original Score
‘Starkeisha’ (ESPN’s Andscape (pka: The Undefeated) – 2022) – Original Score