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 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 Fahey’s Takoma label.
His latest solo piano release is LOVE WILL COME – THE MUSIC OF VINCE GUARALDI, VOL. 2 (to be released 2/2/10), which features compositions by the late jazz pianist, including pieces from the Peanuts® 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 Peanuts® 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 – 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.