George Winston Biography
George Otis Winston III (February 11, 1949 – June 4, 2023) was an American pianist who was an established contemporary instrumental music performer. Best known for his solo piano recordings, Winston released his first album in 1972, and came to prominence with his 1980 album Autumn, which was followed in 1982 by Winter into Spring and December. All three became platinum-selling albums, with December becoming a triple-platinum album. A total of 16 solo albums were released, accumulating over 15 million records sold, with the 1994 album Forest earning Winston a Grammy award for Best New Age Album. Winston received four other Grammy nominations, including one for Best Children's Music Album, performed with actress Meryl Streep, and another for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for his interpretation of works by the rock band the Doors. Winston played in three styles: the melodic approach that he developed and called "rural folk piano"; stride piano, primarily inspired by Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson; and his primary interest, New Orleans rhythm and blues (R&B) piano, influenced by James Booker, Professor Longhair and Henry Butler. While the majority of his recordings were in the folk piano style, Winston mostly enjoyed playing R&B piano. His musical style has been classified as new age and sometimes classical, but he rejected both labels.Winston also played the guitar and harmonica. His interest in the Hawaiian slack-key guitar led him to start his own record label, Dancing Cat Records.