ISELIN, N.J., April 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Metro McDonald's is proud to announce that organ and piano prodigy, Matthew Whitaker was just added to the star studded line-up of McDonald's Gospelfest 2017. The 35th Annual McDonald's Gospelfest returns to the Prudential Center (25 Lafayette Street, Newark, NJ) on Saturday, May 13th for the preeminent gospel event of the year.
Born blind, Matthew taught himself to play a small Yamaha keyboard when he was 3 years old. At age 13 he became the youngest artist to be endorsed by Hammond USA in its 80 plus year history; and at 15, he became the youngest endorsed "Yamaha Piano Artist" which made him the youngest musician to join the stellar group of jazz pianists. Now at age 16 Matthew will be showcasing an unforgettable performance on the keys and joining a stellar line-up of gospel artists including Donnie McClurkin, Erica Campbell, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Cissy Houston, Israel Houghton, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Bishop Paul Morton, Greater Allen AME Cathedral Mass Choir, plus a special message from Reverend A.R. Bernard of the Christian Cultural Center and returning to her Gospel roots to sing all gospel, the R&B soulful singer, Fantasia.
"It is a huge honor for me to be part of The McDonald's Gospelfest 2017!", said piano prodigy, Matthew Whitaker, "I love gospel music and I will make sure that when I play, I give it all to God."
"I have been blessed to see Matthew grow up with gifts and family support that only God can give," said McDonald's Owner Operator, Dave Hatton, "I can't tell you how excited I am to see him at McDonald's Gospelfest 2017."
Whitaker won Amateur Night at the Apollo when he was 9 and later returned to the Apollo stage for the revival of "Showtime at the Apollo" with host Steve Harvey on FOX in December 2016. He won the audience over with his rendition of Stevie Wonder's classic "I Wish." From that first place performance, host, Steve Harvey, proclaimed him "Matthew Stevie Wonder Whitaker."
Whitaker has already toured both in the US and abroad, performing before The Youth Assembly at the United Nations and world renowned stages including Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has also performed at international venues in France, Italy, Morocco, and Japan. In March he released his debut album "Outta the Box" produced by Ray Chew in association with Jazz Foundation of America, Inc.
McDonald's Gospelfest originated in 1983 under the auspices of the McDonald's Corporation and the McDonald's New York Metro Owner/Operator Association. Over thirty years later, it has emerged as the nation's preeminent Gospel celebration, bringing joy, inspiration, encouragement and hope to millions of Americans. Previous McDonald's Gospelfest participants have gone on to successful careers in entertainment, including the renowned Bishop Hezekiah Walker. McDonald's Gospelfest tickets are on sale now at the Prudential Center Box Office, call Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 or go online to www.ticketmaster.com.
About McDonald's New York Tri-State Restaurants
McDonald's is one of the world's best-known brands and is a global leader in food service. There are more than 600 McDonald's restaurants, owned by 100 franchisees, located throughout the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Tri-State area. Visit www.McDonaldsNYTriState.com or follow us on Twitter @McDNYTriState for more information about other McDonald's area programs.
McDonald's USA, LLC, serves a variety of menu options made with quality ingredients to approximately 25 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald's 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at approximately 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald's U.S. restaurants. For more information, visit www.mcdonalds.com, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook
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SOURCE McDonald's New York Tri-State Restaurant Owners