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George Winston to perform at Okinawa Convention Center

Date Posted: 1999-04-02

Renowned American musician George Winston is scheduled to perform April 15 at the Okinawa Convention Center on the final leg of his current 1999 Japan Tour. Inspired by blues, rock, R&B, and jazz styles, Winston began playing organ and electric piano after high school in 1967, but switched to acoustic piano in 1971 after hearing records by the legendary stride (swing) pianists Thomas "Fats" Waller and Teddy Wilson. At this time, he started work on his own brand of pop instrumental music on solo piano, playing both original songs as well as arrangements of pieces by other composers. In 1972, he recorded his first solo piano album, BALLADS AND BLUES - 1972. In 1979, Winston reached a turning point on the piano when he heard the 1949 recordings of the late New Orleans pianist and R&B founder Professor Longhair. He reissued the legend's 1974 French LP ROCK 'N' ROLL GUMBO on his own label, Dancing Cat Records, in 1983.

Winston says: "For all that I'm doing now, my own recordings, touring and even recording the Hawaiian slack key guitar masters, I give great thanks to Professor Longhair, since he gave me the inspiration that got me going and led me to everything else that is happening." He continues, "My main mentors now include two other great New Orleans pianists who were also inspired by Professor Longhair: the late James Booker, who was the first one to take R&B, soul music, and New Orleans music, and make a full-blown solo piano style out of those traditions; and the great jazz/R&B pianist Henry Butler." Winston continues to tour year-round, performing over 110 live shows per year. Though an increase in interest abroad has resulted in more international performances, the majority of his dates are domestic. "I love touring, getting inspired by many places, and playing live for people - that's the real thing, and that's really my home," he says. Winston started his current Japan Tour March 12, and will close with his April 15 Okinawa concert. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission: ・4,500 (SS Seats), ・4,000 (S Seats), ・3,000 (A Seats) and ・2,500 (B Seats). If you plan on buying tickets at the door, you'll have to pay an extra ・500 each ticket. Tickets are available from Ryubo, Okinawa Mitsukoshi in Naha City and Teruya Music Store in Okinawa City.

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