NJ Jazz Prodigy’s Musical Talents An Inspiration To Younger Generations

NEWARK, N.J. (CBS 2) — Several local radio stations are taking part in Jazz Appreciation Month, hoping to teach younger generations to appreciate the sweet sounds of jazz.

CBS 2’s Magee Hickey met one young man who is inspiring others with his musical talents.

Matthew Whitaker eats, sleeps and breathes jazz. As a special birthday treat for the visually impaired 10-year-old from Hackensack, his parents brought him to WBGO to play the Newark jazz station’s rare Hammond organ.

“I like the way it sounds,” Whitaker said. “I like the harmonies, and I can play whatever I want with jazz.”

Matthew started playing jazz at the age of three, when he was given a keyboard and just plunked out tunes on his own. Since then, he’s been studying at the Lighthouse in Manhattan and Harlem School of the Arts.

“It allows him the opportunity to express himself, something he has found that he’s passionate about,” his mother, May Whitaker, said. “He just loves to express himself and be creative.”

“He is a musician who happens to be blind, not a blind musician,” father Moses Whitaker said.

On WBGO’s 32nd birthday, it was a double birthday treat meant to spread the love of jazz to the next generation.

“This is amazing, that this young man with a disability, he is able to pick up the music with all its subtleties,” WBGO President Cephas Bowles said.

Matthew particularly loves the music of Dr. Lonnie Smith.

There will be a series of free concers for kids in Newark, Maplewood and Montclair to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month.

Comments

One Comment

  1. krisztian says:

    Well, that’s inspiring!!! I think the young generation needs a lot of inspiration.
    Thank you for the post of this article!
    If you have 5 minutes check my site for more inspiration:
    http://www.DrFekete.com

  2. MCWJ says:

    For more info on Matthew please see his website http://www.matthewwhitaker.net

  3. PIKE BISHOP JR. says:

    HOLY CUPCAKES..THE RETURN OF RAY CHARLES..YES A TRUE INSPIRATION ALRIGHT…IM WAITING FOR HIS FIRST CD..

  4. Patrice Conklin says:

    I would have loved to actually HEAR how he plays !!!!!!!

    1. je says:

      youtube!!! duh!!

  5. HUD says:

    THIS IS BS! NO VIDEO/AUDIO OF THIS YOUNG KID?
    TOO BAD YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO YOUR JOB!
    GO FIND ANOTHER!

    1. je says:

      woah! too early in the morning to be so sour, i would lay off the coffee if I were you. you could have look on youtube to see the pianist.

Comments are closed.

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