One of the most successful and recognized solo pianists in the world, George Winston brings his remarkably enduring and highly imitated “rural folk piano” style to Rockport to perform his Summer program.
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 MG’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 “Fats” Waller and the late Teddy Wilson. In addition to working on stride piano, he also at this time came up with his own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano.
Since 1972 George has released thirteen solo piano albums: Autumn (1980), Winter into Spring (1982), December (1982), Summer (1991), Forest (1994), Linus & Lucy- The Music of Vince Guaraldi (1996), Plains (1999), which was inspired by his Eastern Montana upbringing, Night Divides the Day- The Music of The Doors (2002), Montana- A Love Story (2004), Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions- A Hurricane Relief Benefit (2006), Love Will Come- The Music of Vince Guaraldi Vol 2 (2010), Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions 2- A Louisiana Wetlands Benefit (2012), and Spring Carousel- A Cancer Research Benefit.
In 2001 George released Remembrance- A Memorial Benefit, a seven song EP 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 Planes, and soundtracks of piano, guitar and, harmonica solos for Pumpkin Circle, and Bread Comes to Life. In addition, he has recorded the solo piano soundtrack for the children’s story The Velveteen Rabbit for Rabbit Ears Productions.
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). He is also recording his main inspirations for his harmonica playing: Sam Hinton, Rick Epping, and Curt Bouterse.