James Matthews, a University of West Florida student, is headed to New York to perform at the renowned Carnegie Hall.
On Monday May 18, 2015, Matthews held a special rehearsal concert for his fans at the Dollarhide Music Center on Palafox Place. This event was opened to the public as he played spell- bounding renditions of classical music such as Chopin and Beethoven.
Matthews, who was once poverty stricken, sleeping in his instructor’s office, has always been a child protégé when it came to music. At the age of 3, he had a love for music and never stopped loving it and that love eventually compelled him to learn to play masterfully. Matthews studied at Florida Southern University in Lakeland, Florida and then Chipola College in Marianna, Florida where he received his Associate’s degree. He then transferred to the University of West Florida where he continued his education. Matthews will graduate in the fall of 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in the Performing Arts with a concentration in music. This Memorial Day weekend, Matthews will be in New York to perform for the second time at Carnegie Hall. His first performance was in April, 2015. New York is waiting his arrival!
James Matthews is one of Pensacola’s best kept secrets. He is considered to be a treasure that we all, especially in the Black community, should be proud of. Many of us have dreams and goals that we would like to pursue. Matthews is one that is making his dreams come true. His music means everything to him, he said “I decided if I never gave up, it would get me through life, and it has. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for music.” He decided to never give up on his dreams and because of that he is now achieving his goals to becoming a concert pianist.