Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, pianist Witness Matlou currently studies at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI) founded by Grammy Award–winning pianist and composer Danilo Perez. There he gets to learn from and perform with big names in the jazz scene such as Joe Lovano, David Liebman, John Patitucci, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Marco Pignataro, to name a few.
From learning to play music in church, Matlou found himself on a long journey of evaluating the nature of music, its purpose, and the role it plays in our lives. Influenced by the piano sound of Abdullah Ibrahim, Bheki Mseleku, and other great South African musicians, he studied music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal along the southeast coast of South Africa. Following a scholarship to study in the United States, he spent a year at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and then received a full scholarship to Berklee.
Also a composer and bandleader, Matlou has toured and played professionally in Europe. He has also appeared with his trio at the Des Moines Arts Festival, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and the Jazz in July festival in Des Moines in addition to touring Costa Rica. Other performances include playing in Paris and at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the BGJI and multiple shows in Boston's jazz clubs.