Matthew Whitaker was born 23 weeks premature, weighing one pound, 11 ounces. Having just barely made it into the second trimester, all odds were against this precious little boy.
Hewas given less than a 50 percent chance of surviving.
Sixteenyears later, hes a musical prodigy with an impressive resume of performances everywhere from Carnage Hall to The Apollo, to touring both the United States and countries abroad.
I am a musician, who happens to be blind, Matthew says. I have been blessed with a God given gift. I pray that I can continue to be a blessing and inspiration to others.
After seeing a video of Matthew circling around the Internet, Ellen Degeneres invited the jazz musician to appear on her show!
Radiating joy, and a contagious spirit of happiness, Matthew sits down with Ellen to talk about his 13-year music career.
After teaching himself to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the piano at just three years old, Matthew discovered his purpose in life.
By the age of 10, he was opening for his idol, Stevie Wonder, at the Apollo Theater, and by 13, hed mastered the art of the piano, drums, keyboard and organ. Matthew tells Ellen that he plans to tackle the vibraphone next.
Of course, Ellen didnt want to just talk to the musical prodigy, she wanted everyone to hear him play. So with that, Matthews dad escorted him to the performance stage where a piano was waiting for him.
He takes his seat and his fingers get to work!
In true Ellen fashion, Matthew did not leave the show empty-handed. Ellen surprised the teen with his very own Vibraphone, to kick-start his newest musical endeavor.
What an incredible testimony Matthew has to share. Hes a survivor, whos taken the disabilities that the devil meant for bad, and turned them into blessings that God has used for GOOD!! All the praise for this incredible musician.