Date: Sunday, May 15, 20221
Time: 2:00 pm
Venue: Plaza Theatre
"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, WBGO
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 and an appearance on the syndicated TV talk show ELLEN!
Having composed several original compositions, Matthew names a list of stellar musicians, composers/arrangers as his artistic influences including organists Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Rhoda Scott; pianists Stevie Wonder, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Ahmad Jamal, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Chick Corea, Jon Batiste, Cory Henry, Marc Cary, Jason Moran, D.D. Jackson, Chopin, Bach; and drummers Roy Haynes, T.S. Monk, Herlin Riley, Otis Brown III, Otis Brown Jr, and Johnathan Blake.
In 2017, he was named 1 of the 17 people to watch in New Jersey by The Record, one of New Jersey’s largest newspapers and add to Crain's Business New York breakout list of 20 under 20 as a performing artist.
In 2018 The Root added Matthew to its list of 1 of 25 Young Futurist Leaders and was named as 1 of 7 rising stars for 2018 by USA Today network's 201 Magazine. Receipt of The Harlem Stage Emerging Artist Award.
2019, The Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award winner for his original song 'Emotions!"