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As more than a year of lockdown and collective isolation appear to be ending, Matthew Whitaker—the twenty-year old keyboardist from Hackensack, New Jersey—has released an exciting, expansive new recording entitled Connections. Connections serves as an impressive reminder of how far Whitaker has come, and how he has defied the odds from the outset. At 9, Matthew began teaching himself how to play the Hammond B3 organ. Four years later, he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond—in its 80+ year history. He was also named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists.
In 2020, CBS’s 60 Minutes program decided to report on Whitaker, shooting him at a headlining gig at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and consulting a neuroscientist who used an MRI to examine his brain activity and better understand his prodigious skills.