Award-winning pianist George Winston to perform

By Casey Peacock: Freedom Newspapers

Focusing his songs to reflect the fall and winter seasons, Grammy-winning pianist George Winston will perform Jan. 25 at Marshall Junior High School Auditorium in Clovis as part of the continuing Clovis Community College Cultural Arts Series.

Winston is best known for playing three styles of piano: New Orleans rhythm and blues, stride and melodic folk piano. Through his music, he will reflect on the seasons of the year, said Winston.

“It’s kind of a mixture (the music) that is fall and winter oriented,” said Winston.
Cultural Arts Director Christy Mendoza has been purchasing and listening to Winston’s music for some time. She commented on how well he captures the seasons he portrays through his music.

“Just listening to it I can feel the chill,” said Mendoza, referring to the album “December.” “It’s wonderful music.”

Other musical selections Winston will perform during the concert include selections from Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” songs, seasonal favorites, as well as music from his “Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions — A Hurricane Relief Benefit” album. Proceeds from his hurricane relief album are being donated to organizations helping to rebuild the Gulf Coast, Winston said.

“Everybody tries to do something. I just try to do something to help out. There’s a lot of people doing great work out there,” said Winston.

As an added bonus to the concert, Winston will donate part of his proceeds from the concert to benefit the Eastern New Mexico Food Bank. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring canned goods that will also be donated to the food bank, said Mendoza.

“He’s very conscientious of giving back to the community,” she said.
Mendoza described Winston as a relaxed performer while on stage. During concerts he performs in casual clothing instead of the standard tuxedo, she said.

“It’s not your traditional tuxedo performance,” said Mendoza.
Tickets for the concert are $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors and military. Advance tickets may be purchased at the cashier’s window at CCC, or the ITT Office at Cannon Air Force Base. If available, tickets may also be purchased the night of the concert, said Mendoza.

“We want everyone to come to this concert series and hear him. He’s a generous performer,” she said.