Matthew Whitaker


Just 20 years old, Matthew Whitaker’s love for playing music first began at the age of 3, after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard. At 9, Whitaker 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. Whitaker has toured in the US and abroad, performing before The Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in NYC; at 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. Whitaker was the 1st place winner at Apollo for Fox TV’s revival of Showtime at the Apollo in 2016. In 2019 and 2020, Whitaker won The ASCAP Foundation's Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for his original compositions “Emotions & Underground!" respectively.