World Premiere: Prodigy Matthew Whitaker is amazing on this "Dance"

(July 26, 2019) Eighteen-year-old Matthew Whitaker’s father raised him right. This virtuosic multi-instrumentalist’s love of jazz began at seven when his dad turned the car radio to a jazz station. “Ever since then it’s always been my favorite genre to listen to,” he says. “Unlike other styles of music where you play what’s on a sheet of paper or play just like a recording, with jazz you have the ability to be free with the music and improvise. You can really do you.”

(July 26, 2019) Eighteen-year-old Matthew Whitaker’s father raised him right. This virtuosic multi-instrumentalist’s love of jazz began at seven when his dad turned the car radio to a jazz station. “Ever since then it’s always been my favorite genre to listen to,” he says. “Unlike other styles of music where you play what’s on a sheet of paper or play just like a recording, with jazz you have the ability to be free with the music and improvise. You can really do you.”

More importantly, Whitaker’s family loved him to life. He was born three months premature and weighed less than two pounds. He could fit into the palm of his father’s hand. Doctor’s prepared the family for the worst, giving baby Matthew less than a 50 percent chance of survival. He did survive, but the oxygen given to him by doctors left him blind. However, his family realized Whitaker’s talents at an early age. His grandfather gave Whitaker a keyboard when he was three, and he used it to teach himself nursery rhymes. By five, he was taking classical piano lessons at the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School in New York, which is the country’s only community music school for blind and visually impaired students. Whitaker eventually ended up attending Julliard – the first blind undergraduate to join that prestigious school’s jazz studies program.

Whitaker is making believers of artists and fans in the jazz community, and testimonials come from jazz luminaries ranging from Dr. Lonnie Smith to Regina Carter. When you hear “Freedom Jazz Dance,” the single from Whitaker’s debut album Now Hear This, you will know why. Whitaker plays piano, keyboards, synthesizer and the Hammond organ. “Freedom Jazz Dance” finds him getting down on the Hammond. Whitaker displays his ability to create and go deep into the funk pocket on this soul jazz tune that finds Hammond and his top flight band moving between the road house on a Saturday night to the sanctified church house on a Sunday morning. The conversation between Whitaker on organ and guitarist Dave Stryker is something to hear.

We’re proud to present the World Premiere of “Freedom Jazz Dance.” Check it out here.

By Howard Dukes

World Premiere!
Matthew Whitaker - "Freedom Jazz Dance"

 
World Premiere - Chris Jasper - "For The Love of You"
Album of the Month - Jeffrey Dennis - "Lovin On You"
Featured Album - Leon Ware - "Rainbow Deux"

Leave a comment!