Matthew Whitaker plays JAS Cafe Friday and Saturday

Mar 29, 2018

Credit Coltrane Blues and Jazz Fest

Sixteen year old Jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker takes the stage this weekend at the JAS Cafe.  And his youth is not the only thing that sets him apart.


Whitaker turns seventeen next Tuesday. He says he wants his audience, above all, to have a good time…but he won’t know if they do by looking out into the crowd. Whitaker is legally blind.

The musician got his start at age three when his grandfather gave him a small keyboard. Since then, he has won recognition from the jazz world, playing Carnegie Hall, the John Coltrane Jazz and Blues Festival and the Apollo in New York.  

The soft-spoken teen will play two shows in Aspen this weekend...and squeeze in homework from Harlem School for the Arts in his downtime.

It might seem tricky to balance touring the world with the normal demands of teen life, but Whitaker is unfazed.  He says it’s worth it because jazz allows him to be truly himself.