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PIANIST GEORGE WINSTON BRINGS "THE WINTER SHOW" TO GMU'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES GEORGE WINSTON
“THE WINTER SHOW”
Friday, Dec. 11, 2009 at 8 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 11, 2009 – In the early 1980s, George Winston burst onto the music scene with his iconic impressionist style and a collection of seasonal-themed recordings. His melodic piano musings instantly found an eager audience. Winston’s distinctive style, which he calls “rural folk piano,” finds its influence in the music of the great New Orleans R&B pianists and his early years in Montana. In “The Winter Show,” Winston presents an evening of exquisitely enchanting music that is certain to evoke feelings of the winter season. Winston makes his Center for the Arts debut at the Concert Hall on Friday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. For this holiday performance, please bring a canned food item, which will be donated to a local Washington, D.C. area food bank. Winston will also donate a portion of the artist's proceeds from his CD sales to the food bank. This performance is family friendly, and tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.
Winston grew up in Montana and spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. His early musical influences were instrumental rock and R&B artists, including Floyd Cramer, The Ventures, Booker T and The MG’s and Jimmy Smith. Inspired by R&B, jazz, blues and rock (especially The Doors), Winston began playing organ in 1967, and switched to the acoustic piano in 1971 after hearing recordings by legendary stride pianists Thomas “Fats” Waller and Teddy Wilson. During this time, Winston also invented his own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, which he called “folk piano.”
In 1972, Winston recorded his first solo piano album, “Ballads and Blues 1972.” Since 1980, he has released nine other solo albums: “Autumn,” “Winter Into Spring,” “December,” “Summer,” “Forest,” “Linus & Lucy – The Music of Vince Guaraldi,” “Plains,” “Night Divides the Day – The Music of the Doors” and “Montana – A Love Story.” His next album will be “Love Will Come – The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol. 2,” scheduled to be released in February 2010. Winston also recently released an album called “Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions – A Hurricane Relief Benefit,” which features original compositions, as well as pieces by renowned New Orleans pianists Henry Butler, James Booker and Dr. John. In 2001, he also released “Remembrance – A Memorial Benefit,” a six-song CD of piano, guitar and harmonica solos, to benefit those affected by 9/11. In addition, Winston has composed music for the children’s videos “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes,” “Pumpkin Circle” and “Bread Comes to Life.” He also recorded the solo piano soundtrack for an audio recording of the children’s story “The Velveteen Rabbit” for Rabbit Ears Productions.
Currently Winston spends much of his time touring, often playing solo piano, guitar and harmonica. He also studies the techniques of the great New Orleans pianists Henry Butler, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Dr. John and John Cleary. In addition, Winston is working on several solo projects, including recording the masters of the Hawaiian Slack Key guitar for an extensive series of albums for Dancing Cat Records; and recording music by his major inspirations for harmonica playing, Sam Hinton, Rick Epping and Curt Bouterse.
George Winston plays Steinway Pianos. For more information on the artist, please visit www.georgewinston.com.
Tickets for GEORGE WINSTON are $42, $34, $21. Family Friendly! Youth through grade 12, half price when accompanied by an adult! Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.gmu.edu/cfa. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa.
About Great Performances at Mason
Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.
About George Mason University
Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.