The Kootenai Heritage Council is hosting a solo piano concert featuring pianist George Winston at the Libby Memorial Events Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26.
One of the most recognized solo pianists in the world, Winston plays melodic originals and interprets pieces by his favorite composers. He has offered the evening’s performance as a fundraiser for the Libby Memorial Events Center, which is managed for the Libby community by the KHC, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Winston grew up largely in Montana, and also spent time in Mississippi and Florida. Inspired by R&B, jazz, blues and rock (especially the Doors), Winston 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 Winston has released 13 solo piano albums. In 2001 he released “Rememberance — A Memorial Benefit,” an 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. He also recorded the solo piano soundtrack for the children’s story “The Velveteen Rabbit” for Rabbit Ears Productions.
Winston is presently concentrating on live performances. Winston 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). Slack Key is the name for the beautiful solo fingerstyle guitar tradition, unique to Hawaii, which began in the early 1800s and predated the steel guitar by more than half a century. He is also recording his main inspirations for his harmonica playing: Sam Hinton, Rick Epping, and Curt Bouterse.
Tickets for the May 26 evening of entertainment are $15 at the door, $12 presale and students will be admitted free with a paying adult. These tickets are available online at www.libbymemorialcenter.com as well as the regular Libby outlets: Cabinet Books, Libby Area Chamber of Commerce, Homesteaders Farm & Ranch, Rivermist, Western News, Mountain Meadows , Rocky Mountain Music. In Troy, tickets can be purchased at Hot Club and Booze ‘n’ Bait.
For more information, visit www.libbymemorialcenter.com or call 406-293-5678.