Legendary pianist George Winston is returning to Durango this weekend for shows at the Henry Strater Theatre.
I had the chance to talk to him about his new album and what he considers the highlights of a decadeslong career.
Q: Let’s talk about “Spring Carousel” a little bit. It has a pretty amazing backstory.
A: In 2012, I had a bone-marrow transplant at City of Hope, and when I got out of the hospital, there’s a village close by that City of Hope has. I had access to the piano in the auditorium at night. Every night I was practicing for when I started touring again. A bunch of these songs kind of emerged serendipitously, and then these 15 kind of worked together best.
It was obvious it was a benefit for City of Hope because it wouldn’t have happened without their treatment or their piano.
Q: You’ve had a long and illustrious career – are there any highlights for you?
A: The highlight is any town I get to play in; it’s kind of like, which cat do you love the best, you know? We’re glad to be doing all of it.
Q: What kind of show can we expect from you?
A: There will be some of the folk-piano melodic things, some of the recordings. And then some of the up-tempo New Orleans rhythms and blues piano; kind of a mixture of ballads and up-tempo kind of things.
We always invite a local food bank and ask the audience to bring nonperishable food if possible. We just want to help out the community that invites me to play.