George Winston grew up mainly in Montana, and also spent his later
formative years in Mississippi and Florida. During this time, his favorite
music was instrumental rock and instrumental R&B, including Floyd Cramer,
the Ventures, Booker T & The MGâ€™s, Jimmy Smith, and many more. Inspired by
R&B, jazz, Blues and rock (especially the Doors), George began playing
organ in 1967. In 1971 he switched to the acoustic piano after hearing
recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s by the legendary stride pianists
Thomas â€œFatsâ€ Waller and the late Teddy Wilson. In addition to working on
stride piano, he also at this time came up with this own style of melodic
instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano. In 1972, he recorded
his first solo piano album, BALLADS AND BLUES 1972, for the late guitarist
John Faheyâ€™s Takoma label.
His latest solo piano release is LOVE WILL COME â€“ THE MUSIC OF VINCE
GUARALDI, VOL. 2, which features compositions by the late jazz pianist,
including pieces from the PeanutsÂ® TV specials.
Since 1980 George has released ten other solo piano albums: AUTUMN (1980),
WINTER INTO SPRING (1982), DECEMBER (1982), SUMMER (1991), FOREST (1994),
LINUS & LUCY-THE MUSIC OF VINCE GUARALDI (1996), which features
compositions by the late jazz pianist, including Cast Your Fate to the
Wind and pieces from the PeanutsÂ® TV specials; PLAINS (1999), which was
inspired by his Eastern Montana upbringing, NIGHT DIVIDES THE DAY - THE
MUSIC OF THE DOORS (2002), and MONTANA - A LOVE STORY (2004) and GULF
COAST BLUES & IMPRESSIONS â€“ A HURRICANE RELIEF BENEFIT (2006).
Also, in 2001 George released REMEMBRANCE - A MEMORIAL BENEFIT, a six song
CD of piano, guitar and harmonica solos, to benefit those affected by
9/11. He has also worked with the late George Levenson of Informed
Democracy (www.informeddemocracy.com) on three projects: a solo guitar
soundtrack for SADAKO AND THE THOUSAND PAPER CRANES, and soundtracks of
piano, guitar and, harmonica solos for PUMPKIN CIRCLE, and BREAD COMES TO
LIFE. In 1984 he also did the solo piano soundtrack for the childrenâ€™s
story THE VELVETEEN RABBIT for Rabbit Ears Productions.
George is presently concentrating mainly on live performances, and most of
the time he is touring playing solo piano concerts (the Summer Show or the
Winter Show), solo guitar concerts, solo harmonica concerts, and solo
piano dances (with R&B and slow dance songs).
He is also studying the playing of the great New Orleans pianists Henry
Butler, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, and Jon Cleary, and he
is also working on interpreting pieces on solo piano by his favorite
composers, including Vince Guaraldi, Professor Longhair, the Doors, Frank
Zappa, Randy Newman, Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield, Laura Nyro, Al Kooper,
Dr. John, Henry Butler, James Booker, Jon Cleary, Ralph Towner, Arthur
Lee, Milt Jackson, John Hartford, Oliver Schroer, Taj Mahal, Philip
Aaberg, and others, to play at concerts, and at his solo piano dances.
George is also working on solo guitar and is recording the masters of the
Hawaiian Slack Key guitar for an extensive series of albums for Dancing
Cat Records (www.dancingcat.com). Slack Key is the name for the beautiful
solo fingerstyle guitar tradition, unique to Hawaii, which began in the
early 1800s and predated the steel guitar by over half a century. He is
also recording his main inspirations for his harmonica playing, Sam
Hinton, Rick Epping, and Curt Bouterse.
George Winston plays Steinway Pianos www.georgewinston.com