Performing Arts Houston presents Houston debut of jazz keyboardist phenom Matthew Whitaker

October 25, 2022

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(Houston)- Performing Arts Houston presents internationally acclaimed jazz phenom Matthew Whitaker, on November 18, 2022, at 7:30 pm at Cullen Theater, Wortham Center. Whitaker, who was the 2016 winner of FOX TV’s Night at the Apollo, makes his Houston live debut with an evening of jazz standards plus original compositions from his three studio albums. Whitaker was set to perform as part of Performing Arts Houston’s 2020/2021 season which was canceled due to the pandemic. Instead, the pianist performed at the 2021 virtual gala to critical acclaim. Tickets start at $19, at

Whitaker, who was born blind, grew up surrounded by music and was gifted a Yamaha keyboard at age 3. By age 9 he began teaching himself to play the Hammond B3 organ, and four years later became the youngest artist endorsed by Hammond in its 80-year history. He was named a Yamaha Artist at 15, becoming the youngest musician to join the group of jazz pianists. In 2010, Matthew was a winning participant in the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” competition, as part of Amateur Night at the Apollo, and was invited to perform at Stevie Wonder’s induction into the Apollo Theater’s Hall of Fame.

While studying drums and classical piano at the Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg School, the only community music school for the blind in the U.S., the New Jersey native went on to receive the “Outstanding Soloist Award” from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival and the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. He was also recognized by the Harlem International Film Festival, which named him “Most Remarkable Young Person on Screen.” Since then, Whitaker has toured the world and performed with an array of outstanding musicians, such as Ray Chew, Christian McBride, Rhoda Scott, and D.D. Jackson, and has been regarded as the “second coming of Ray Charles” by CBS Sunday Morning.

Now 20 years old and a senior at the Julliard School of Music, Whitaker has several composition credits including his albums Outta The Box, Now Hear This, and Connections, and the film scores for “Matthew Whitaker: About Tomorrow” and “Starkeisha”

About Performing Arts Houston
For over 55 years, Performing Arts Houston has connected audiences with exceptional artists through diverse performances and learning experiences throughout Houston communities and schools. We welcome all to ignite and cultivate passion for the performing arts and explore the vast landscape of artistic expression to discover new understanding about ourselves, create community, inspire dialogue, and enrich our world. More at

Ticket Information
Tickets start at $19. Tickets can be purchased through the Performing Arts Houston website at or by calling our box office at (713) 227-4772

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Matthew Whitaker
Friday, November 18, 2022
7:30 pm
Cullen Theater, Wortham Center
Tickets start at $19

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Media Contact:
Caroline Senter