Matthew Whitaker is a pianist that has been mentored by the likes of Stevie Wonder; Jon Batiste has called him one of “the greatest” at this moment, and he’s already played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Apollo. Whitaker also happens to be just shy of 21 years old and blind.
Whitaker talked with “Live In The D” host Jason Carr about his musical journey. Whitaker said he started playing when he was about three years old. Whitaker said his grandfather gave him his first keyboard. He then began classical piano lessons at the age of five and has been working with the same teacher ever since. At the age of seven, Whitaker got into jazz music. Then at 9, he taught himself the organ.
Whitaker’s journey has also included some big names in the music industry. He met Jon Batiste when he was around 9 or 10 years old. Whitaker said he’s been invited to a lot of Batiste’s shows and has been in studio sessions with him as well. He also has ties to Stevie Wonder. Whitaker recalls meeting Wonder at the Apollo Theatre. He says the famous pianist even gave him one of his harmonicas.
Whitaker’s story is now being told in a documentary called “Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow”.
Watch the video above to hear Matthew Whitaker play the piano.