UCSB Arts & Lectures presents jazz musician Matthew Whitaker | Culture & Leisure
Posted on November 9, 2022
| 2:32 p.m.
UCSB Arts & Lectures will feature pianist and composer Matthew Whitaker, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 17 at Campbell Hall.
At age 10, Whitaker opened for Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame. At 15, he became Yamaha Artist, the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.
Now, the 21-year-old composer and pianist is making his Santa Barbara debut after two acclaimed albums and a feature on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”
“I’m a musician, who happens to be blind,” Whitaker said. “I have been blessed with a gift from God and my prayer is that I may continue to be a blessing and an inspiration to others.”
Born in 2001 in Hackensack, NJew Jersey, Whitaker grew up surrounded by music. His love for music started when he was only three years old after his grandfather gave him a small Yamaha keyboard.
At nine o’clock, Whitaker. started learning to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond in its more than 80-year history. He was also named a Yamaha artist at age 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.
Whitaker. has toured the United States and abroad, performing at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York; SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and international locations in France, Italy, Germany, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Portugal, Japan, Spain, Morocco and South Korea.
In 2010, Whitaker won the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” contest, as part of Amateur Night at the Apollo. A year later, at the age of 10, he was invited to perform at Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater Hall of Fame.
In 2019 and 2020, Whitaker won the ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award for his original compositions “Emotions” and “Underground!”
Matthew Whitaker is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures in association with UCSB Global Engagement as part of International Education Week. Tickets are $30 to $45 for the general public, $15 for UCSB students with current student ID.
For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures, 805-893-3535 or visit www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.