George Winston recently released a solo piano album, Love Will Come Vol. 2, on which he interprets the music of Vince Guaraldi. You might know Guaraldi's genius from the Peanuts Charlie Brown Christmas album that remains the most delightful, least offensive holiday album of all time. Winston's a big fan of the composer. He's got good taste!
He spends, according to his estimations, 70 to 80 percent of his time on the road. In each city, Winston takes all merch-table profits and gives them to a local food bank. He also does a can drive at performances. This time at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the chow will benefit Feeding South Florida.
These generous gestures began in 1986, when Winston asked himself, "How can I interact
with the community in another way besides making music?" Food being an
essential item, he decided this was the best route.
known as the creator of a unique piano musical style called folk
piano. "The folk way is like the melodic style," he says. "Not real
complicated. Back in 1971, I called it folk piano as opposed to up-tempo
stuff, stride piano and New Orleans rhythm and blues." It's a balance
for him to find different ways of playing. He's not a jazz or classical
player; he sticks with rhythm and blues. Winston also plays Hawaiian
Slack Key guitar and old Americana fiddle tunes on the guitar and the
He's totally grateful for the chance to play for his audience. This
time, he'll be performing all winter songs, whereas last he
played spring songs. "I try to switch shows each time, and then the sets
change. It's constantly evolving and changing." The seasons are the
biggest influence for him, and topography is also important.
attended Stetson University and even Coral Gables High School, so his
connection to Florida is strong. What's most memorable to him about the
state is the air. "If you woke up and didn't know where you were, you'd be
like, 'Oh, man this is Florida, I can just feel it.' That type of
humidity, you're near the ocean wherever you are. It's got a feeling
not like any other place," he relates.
In 2006, Winston put out a Katrina benefit album called Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions: Hurricane Relief Benefit.
The second volume of the album is coming out on March 20, and the proceeds will help save the Louisiana wetlands. Good taste and a do-gooder? You can't lose.
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See him at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW
Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, on Saturday, February 25, at 8 p.m.