The following is a guest post from Brian McCurdy, Music Reader Services Librarian at the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS), Library of Congress, will kick off its 90th anniversary celebration with a free virtual concert by jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker on Wednesday, March 3, at 8:00 p.m. (EST)—and you’re invited!
Whitaker, who has been blind since birth, is an NLS patron who has garnered accolades across the jazz world. He won the ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Awards for 2019 and 2020 and has been featured on stages around the world and on TV shows including Ellen and NBC’s Today. In a story on the CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes neuroscientists discussed how Whitaker’s brain is stimulated by music—so much so that his visual cortex lights up when he plays.
Like previous NLS concerts that featured José André in 2019 and Justin Kauflin in 2014, this event showcases the NLS Music Section’s work in providing patrons with direct access to the world’s largest collection of braille, audio, and large print music materials.
Whitaker’s concert will be broadcast on the Library of Congress YouTube channel, and will be available on that platform for additional viewings after March 3.
Karen Keninger, the Director of NLS, will conduct an interview with Whitaker, which will also be available on the Library’s YouTube page starting at 8:00 a.m. (EST) on March 3.