Matthew Whitaker is a young blind pianist and composer. He was born in 2001 in Hackensack, New Jersey. At 23 weeks old a health scare led to eye problems and surgeries that resulted in his blindness. He began playing on a Yamaha keyboard his grandfather gave him when he was three years old. At nine years old he learned to play a Hammond B3 organ. He was later endorsed by Hammond and named a Yamaha Artist.
Matthew studied classical piano and drums at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School of the Lighthouse Guild in New York, New York. Also, he attends the Manhatten School of Music’s Precollege Jazz Program. He has studied at The Harlem School of Arts as well. He was a member of the Jazz House Big Band and the Organ Messengers at Jazz House Kids.
Matthew has received awards and played incredible performances around the world, including before The Youth Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in NYC. Matthew has many artists he is inspired by and has composed his own original compositions. In 2017, he was named one of the 17 people to watch in New Jersey by one of their largest newspapers.
Matthew’s skills may inspire you and the fact he has these abilities and shares them despite his blindness is inspiring as well. I know personally when I see someone happily succeeding, as I did him on Ellen, despite a disability, it inspires me. Inspiration remains essential to me as I write from my wheelchair. Physical therapy and writing have inspired me. Be inspired! Have a bright day!