"Young Matthew Whitaker, who played the piano and also happened to be blind, stole the show as he jammed and improvised. He garnered probably the loudest ovation of the night after he finished his solo, and conductor Steven Reineke, (NY Pops orchestra), was blown away by how good the 11-year-old was. “I was just told that the young man on the keys is only 11 years old. Are you kidding me? That's ridiculous!” "
Ross Bernhardt - Writer for Charged.fm on performance with Ozomatli and NY Pops at SummerStage.
“He hears music and he hears the entire picture right from the start. He innately understands the structures and how the chords are there and has that whole picture in his mind. …he’s so happy when he’s doing music.”
Dalia Sakas – Lighthouse Music Program Coordinator and Classical Music Instructor
"I caught wind of this genius child over the weekend and I am truly astonished at his talent and love of jazz. He has amazed everyone who hears him play. Not only does he burn it up on piano and Hammond, he kills it on the drums too! "
Jazz N Pop
"Maybe he can’t see, but he was given another gift,"
Sonelius Smith – Harlem School of the Arts Jazz Piano Instructor
“We have just fallen in love with Matthew because of his love for music, his enthusiasm, his energy. "Here is this very gifted child, but he’s not going into hip hop or rock and roll, he’s playing jazz music."
Cephas Bowles – WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM President and Chief Executive Officer
"Hearing how Matthew has a free and creative approach to the drum set, I can not keep myself from thinking of Tony Williams, who began his career at 13 years old."
Marc Wagnon – Lighthouse Music Program , Percussion, Jazz and Music Technology Instructor
"Matthew is an exceptional young musician and an outstanding representative of our music school. We have high hopes that he will go far in his career."
Leslie Jones – Executive Director of the Lighthouse Music School