It is with great sadness that I must report on the passing of pianist, composer, producer and philanthropist George Winston. His Facebook page was updated today to report his passing with the following message:
We are deeply saddened to share the news that George Winston has passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer. George quietly and painlessly left this world while asleep on Sunday, June 4, 2023. George courageously managed serious cancers, including having a successful bone marrow transplant for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS) in 2013 at City of Hope, in Duarte, California, that gratefully extended his life by 10 years. Throughout his cancer treatments, George continued to write and record new music, and he stayed true to his greatest passion: performing for live audiences while raising funds for Feeding America to help fight the national hunger crisis along with donating proceeds from each of his concerts to local food banks.
Across an illustrious career spanning more than 50 years, George’s music first became known and loved by his fans with the release of his two most iconic albums, Autumn (1980) and December (1982). George’s recordings evolved with the times while garnering a GRAMMY Award for Forest (plus five GRAMMY nominations) and selling over 15 million albums. George touched the hearts of generations with his acclaimed solo acoustic piano compositions. From his early days in Montana, Mississippi and Florida, to his later life living in the San Francisco Bay Area and touring to cities worldwide, America’s beautiful landscapes and natural seasons shaped his singular instrumental folk piano. With 16 solo piano albums to his name, George recorded brilliant piano music, which includes tribute recordings for Vince Guaraldi, The Doors, a Hurricane Katrina relief benefit, Gulf Coast and Louisiana Wetlands benefits, September 11 benefit, a cancer research benefit for City of Hope, the Peanuts episode “This Is America Charlie Brown: The Birth Of The Constitution,” among others.
George’s legacy includes his beloved catalog as well as an archive of his own acoustic guitar and harmonica recordings, and albums by an array of Hawaiian slack key artists on his own record label, Dancing Cat Records. George is pre-deceased by his parents, George and Mary Winston, and is survived by his sister, niece and nephew.
The family of George Winston will hold a private memorial service. For donations in memory of George Winston, please visit:
City Of Hope Cancer Center:
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: