STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
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Two of Windham Hill Records’ best selling albums are seasonal selections by George Winston — “Autumn” and “December.”
A piano instrumentalist, who also plays guitar and harmonica “just to break up the sound of the piano,” Winston is due to release a 15-song album next year called “Spring Carousel.”
When asked what makes a piece of music autumnal or wintery, he thought for a moment, initially said, “maybe minor keys,” then concluded it all boils down to subjective reaction to “what a song feels like.”
Winston’s winter show — a mixture of fall and winter songs, Vince Guaraldi Trio’s jazzy “Peanuts” music, pieces inspired by New Orleans R&B piano and stride piano (think 1920s-1940s Fats Waller) traditions, and songs from upcoming releases — comes to Sellersville Theater Nov. 30.
A Vince Guaraldi devotee — Winston will release his third album of Guaraldi piano compositions in the New Year called “Bay of Gold” — it means you can expect selections from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”
“I was a fan of comics and animation,” Winston said of the reason he tuned in for the first broadcast of the animated “Peanuts” special in 1965.
“‘Linus and Lucy’ came on, and I went crazy over the piece. The whole ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ soundtrack was like one song, with 11 parts … the same thing with the first Doors record,” he said, mentioning another one of his all-time favorites. Winston released “Night Divides the Day — The Music of The Doors” in 2002.
Since 1986, Winston has raised money for food banks and service organizations. For the Sellersville concert, non-perishable food donations will be accepted at the theater for Pennridge FISH. “We just try to help out the communities that invite me to play. Bring a can of food, if you can,” he said.
Something else Winston does at his concerts is take his shoes off and perform in stocking feet. It’s because he rhythmically taps one of his feet while on stage, and he said he keeps padding under the foot.
A Montana native, Winston said he enjoys coming to Pennsylvania because to him, the commonwealth is like six different states in one.
For more information, and to hear music, go to www.georgewinston.com.