|“This young man is a genius! I love the way he’s mastering those keys…. He will go far…. Watch out!” – Jon Batiste, pianist & music director, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
A piano and Hammond B-3 organ wunderkind currently taking the jazz world by storm, 18-year-old Matthew Whitaker became, at age 13, the youngest musician to be endorsed by Hammond in the company’s history. Steeped in tradition yet pushing forward into a groove-infused space of his own, he has logged a series of A-list gigs as a leader, including the 2019 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the 2017 NEA Jazz Masters induction ceremony for B-3 godfather Dr. Lonnie Smith at Kennedy Center. As the L.A. Times wrote of the Whitaker concert experience: “He sat center stage between two very large pieces of furniture: a Hammond B3 and a grand piano, [and] summoned the ghosts of Larry Young and Oscar Peterson…. [His] instrumental trio inspired spontaneous dancing and a standing ovation.” Adding even more youthful brilliance to the evening, WPA’s very own Children of the Gospel Choir join Whitaker in a special appearance!
Tickets at WashingtonPerformingArts.org • (202) 785-9727
Special thanks: Lydia Micheaux Marshall; Galena-Yorktown Foundation; Jacqueline Badger Mars and Mars, Incorporated