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George Winston set for release day concert at Central Lakes College / Brainerd Dispatch

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Known throughout the world as a virtuoso on piano, George Winston will give a solo concert at 7:30 p.m. March 31 in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. The show marks Winston's fourth appearance as part of the CLC Theatre's Cultural Arts Series.

"Every song I've ever heard, that has gone in and stayed in me, has always reminded me of a season. A picture and a place, maybe, but always a season," Winston states in a news release. As a youth, Winston's interest in music was listening to instrumentals in the various rhythm and blues and jazz genres, especially as played by organists. After hearing The Doors in 1967, he was inspired to start playing the organ. In 1971, he switched to solo piano after hearing the music of such greats as "Fats" Waller Teddy Wilson and Earl Hines. Many of Winston's compositions are self-described as "rural folk piano" or "folk piano," a style he developed as a complement to the up-tempo stride piano. The third style he plays is New Orleans rhythm and blues piano, influenced by such greats as Professor Longhair, Dr. John and Jon Cleary.

Coincidentally, Winston releases his newest recording on the very day he appears in Brainerd. "Spring Carousel" features a collection of 15 solo piano compositions written by Winston while in recovery from a bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome at City of Hope, in Duarte, Calif., near Los Angeles. Proceeds from sales of "Spring Carousel" will directly benefit City of Hope. Winston regularly tours across North America, Europe and Asia. He last appeared in Brainerd in 2014. His philanthropy extends to doing whatever he can to combat hunger.

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