George Winston grew up in Montana but spent his later formative years in Mississippi and Florida. During this time, his favorite music was instrumental rock and instrumental R&B, including Floyd Cramer, the Ventures, Booker T. & the MGs, Jimmy Smith, and many more. Inspired by R&B, jazz, blues, and rock (especially the Doors), Winston began playing organ in 1967. In 1971, he switched to the acoustic piano after hearing recordings from the 1920s and the 1930s by the legendary stride pianists Thomas “Fats” Waller and the late Teddy Wilson. In addition to working on stride piano, Winston came up with his own style of melodic instrumental music on solo piano, called folk piano.
Since 1972, Winston has released fourteen solo piano albums, including his breakthrough platinum release entitled Autumn. He has recorded numerous benefit EPs and albums, including Remembrance―A Memorial Benefit (for those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks), Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions: A Hurricane Relief Benefit (for victims of Hurricane Katrina), and Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions 2: A Louisiana Wetlands Benefit (to raise awareness about the loss of the Louisiana wetlands and to help heal the damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill).
Winston is also working on a solo guitar recording that honors the masters of the Hawaiian slack-key guitar. Slack key is the name for the beautiful solo fingerstyle guitar tradition unique to Hawaii, which began in the early 1800s and predated the steel guitar by over half a century.
George Winston is one of the best-selling pianists of any style, ever.