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Summer Has No Season For George Winston

Of the Oakland Press

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The air is turning chilly around the metro area these days, but George Winston doesn’t care. He’s bringing his “summer show” to Ann Arbor next week.

“I think the last time I did a piano show up there it was a winter show, so I try to alternate,” explains Winston, 58, a pianist and guitarist who was born in Michigan and raised in Montana, though he’s now based in California where he records and operates his Dancing Cat Records label.

“Plus, you never know what winter weather it’s going to be in Michigan at any given time. In November, it could be 80 or it could be 20. So if it’s a cold day and I’m playing a summer show, or vice versa, so be it. The priority is to be free of the seasons as well as being in touch with them.”

Winter or summer, Winston’s audience can count on hearing some music from his most recent release — “Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions — A Hurricane Relief Benefit,” which is his effort to acknowledge the influence of New Orleans piano players on his own music and to help in the rebuilding of the Katrina-ravaged music community.

“I started working on (the album) that week of the hurricane,” says Winston, who’s upcoming projects include an album devoted to the music of Crescent City legend Professor Longhair. “I was hoping to have it done sooner, but as long as it takes to get it is as good as it can get.

“It’s something that’s very subjective; it might work for me and nobody else, but you have to go with your own feeling and ‘What am I trying to say? What works?’ Hopefully if it’s right for me, it sounds OK to everybody else.”

George Winston performs at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 13) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $40 plus a non-perishable food item which will be donated to Food Gatherers. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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