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 for the first time in a concert just in time for the holiday season.

“Winston remains a consummately graceful pianist whose talents exceed categorization.” – Boston Globe

Winston’s landmark “season” series, which includes the triple-platinum selling classic December, launched the instrumentalist and composer into the stratosphere in the early 80’s, almost single-handedly kickstarting the now ubiquitous new age genre (and putting Windham Hill Records on the map).

Since his debut in 1972 (on guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma Records), Winston has created a thrilling and much beloved discography that includes 14 studio records. His most recent, Spring Carousel, came out in the spring of this year. Other hit records include his tributes to Vince Guaraldi and a benefit for Louisiana hurricane relief entitled Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions.  

George Winston grew up mainly in Montana, and also spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. 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 Fats Waller and 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 rural folk piano. His main influences currently are the New Orleans R&B pianists Professor Longhair, James Booker, and Henry Butler.

This concert will feature George’s Winter Show, which will include melodic fall  and winter type songs, some of Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces, pieces inspired  by the New Orleans piano & the stride piano traditions, and songs from his  upcoming albums.