In eight albums, renowned pianist George Winston has tackled such seemingly wide-ranging compositions as the Peanuts themes written by Vince Guaraldi, Doors tunes and Hawaiian slack key guitar music.
While that assortment may seem odd, Winston said it's only a matter of interpretation.
"It's just like how people interpret Tchaikovsky, or Gershwin, or the Beatles," he said.
Winston will perform many of the well-known songs and original compositions at a benefit concert tomorrow at West Acres Baptist Church, 555 Gibbs Road, Evans. Proceeds from the show benefit the Golden Harvest Food Bank.
The Montana native said he is looking forward to playing in such an intimate setting.
"I think small venues are great," Winston said in a phone interview. "The smaller the better because everyone can hear what's going on with the piano."
Primarily known for his concert performances, Winston said he is on the road two-thirds of the year. He also owns Dancing Cat record label, which is primarily dedicated to recording slack key guitar musicians, and he occasionally makes records.
"My main impetus is live performances, but once in a while there is a record inside me that wants out," he said. "I'll go from doing a record once every 10 years to two in the same year. It averages to around a record every two or three years."
His latest recording, The Night Divides the Day: The Music of the Doors, is a tribute to the infamous and influential rock band that initially spurred his interest in music.
"(The Doors) were ones that were the main influence on me to be a musician," Winston said. "I heard their first album in January of 1967 and was stunned by it. I heard the first song, Break on Through to the Other Side, and thought it was the greatest thing I've ever heard."
The album features 13 solo piano versions of some of The Doors' best known songs, including Love Her Madly, Spanish Caravan, Light My Fire, Riders on the Storm, as well as other more obscure Doors compositions.
Winston took up the organ at age 18 and switched to the piano four years later in 1971. In 1972, he recorded his first solo piano album called Ballads and Blues - 1972.
Winston's Evans concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each.
Tickets are available at Georgia Bank and Trust and SunTrust Bank branches, online at www.goldenharvest.org, or by calling 736-1199 or (800) 766-7690.
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