This Friday, solo pianist George Winston will perform at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo. Winston, whose career began in 1972 with his first album, Ballads and Blues, has since released seven multi-platinum, platinum and gold albums.
Chances are the majority of UVU students have never heard of Winston. But their parents most likely have. His career peaked in the ’70s and ’80s, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer an important contributor to the music world. Since 1980 he has released nine solo piano albums, the most recent of which was a tribute to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina titled Gulf Coast Blues and Impressions. This album was released on Sept. 5.
According to a press release from the Covey Center, Winston plays over one hundred solo piano concerts a year. His songs range from New Orleans R&B piano to Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces.
“I play three styles: New Orleans R&B piano, and the majority of the songs I play are in this style; stride piano, which was the main way of playing that I worked on after hearing Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson; and third, folk piano, the style that I came up with in 1971 which is influenced and inspired by instrumental R&B and rock, North American folk music, and even more by the sounds of the piano itself,” Winston said.
The Covey Center is evolving into a more impressive and respectable venue in Utah Valley. They have started to draw in more than just local artists like the Thrillionaires and Kirby Heybourne. For example, the annual dance concert Thriller by Odyssey Dance Theater has never performed in Utah Valley, but this October they will show for two nights at the Center.
The venue has become a place for multiple types of entertainment. Theater, comedy, dance, symphonies, art, and community parties have all been hosted at the center.
The Covey Center is located at 425 West Center Street in Provo. Tickets to the event are $20-$25 and can be purchased at the Ticket Office, by calling 801-852-7007, or by visiting www.CoveyCenter.org.
The concert will take place on Friday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m.