Matthew Whitaker announces new album, ‘Now Hear This’

    The multi-instrumentalist will be the first blind undergraduate to join Juilliard’s Jazz Study program.

    Matthew Whitaker
    Image: Rob Davidson / Matthew Whitaker official website

    Matthew Whitaker has announced a new album, Now Hear This.

    Whitaker plays piano, Hammond organ and more on the record, synthesizing influences from bop to R&B and Latin music. He’s backed by guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Yunior Terry, drummer Ulysses Owens Jr and percussionist Sammy Figueroa. The album was overseen by Grammy Award-winning producer Brian Bacchus.

    The 18-year-old multi-instrumentalist will release Now Hear This before he enrols at Juilliard as a freshman in the fall. The first blind undergraduate student to join the prestigious institution’s Jazz Study program, Whitaker lost his sight as a newborn: Born premature, he was given oxygen to survive, which cost him his vision.

    Now Hear This arrives August 9 via Resilience Music Alliance and will include a trio rendition of Ahmad Jamal’s “Tranquility,” which you can stream below: