Monday, February 22, 2010

George Winston to Play to Help Homeless Kids

Venue Contact: Diane Nilan, 630/267-5424
Artist Contact:  Jennifer Gallacher 831/429-5085 x 215
GEORGE WINSTON to Perform SOLO GUITAR at a Benefit Concert for HEAR US
 on March 28, 2010 at St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Naperville
Tickets Information: 630/225-5012
February 23, 2010—George Winston, best known for his solo piano performances, has announced that he will perform a SOLO GUITAR CONCERT (no piano played during this concert) to benefit the Naperville-based nonprofit organization HEAR US Inc., a national organization that helps homeless children, youth and families.
A food drive to benefit will be held in conjunction with this concert.  The audience is encouraged to bring non-perishable food donations to the show in support of People’s Resource Center in Wheaton.
For many years, George has been studying and recording the masters of the Hawaiian Slack Key guitar, the solo finger-style guitar tradition unique to Hawai’i, which dates back to the early 1800s (and predates the steel guitar by about 60 years).  “I experience such beauty and inspiration in the music of these masters,” says George, producer or co-producer of 36 slack key albums on the Dancing Cat record label.  “When I first heard some of the great Hawaiian slack key guitarists in the early 1970s, such as Keola Beamer, Led Kaapana, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan, the late Gabby Pahinui, the late Sonny Chillingworth, the late Atta Isaacs and others, I realized right away that my priority was to help make this tradition better known, and ultimately more available to people.”
George’s performance will feature Hawaiian Slack Key as well as traditional American music, including Appalachian fiddle tunes, ragtime, popular standards and more.

So far he has two recordings with solo guitar:

  1. First, the soundtrack for the Japanese story Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. The story was originally produced as a half-hour film directed by George Levenson for his non-profit media organization, Informed Democracy.  He also recorded the solo guitar, piano, and harmonica soundtracks for the Informed Democracy children’s videos Pumpkin Circle, about the cycle of the seasons unfolding in a backyard pumpkin patch, and Bread Comes to Life.

  1. Second, REMEMBRANCE – A MEMORIAL BENEFIT, a 6-song CD of piano, guitar, and harmonica solos.  All artist proceeds from this CD are being donated to benefit those affected by 9/11.

This will be the second concert George has performed for HEAR US. His support enabled this organization to become an influential force helping homeless children and youth across the country. Materials—videos and books—developed and marketed by HEAR US, and Diane Nilan’s presentations, have given homeless children and youth voice and visibility, enabling educators, college students, and the public to hear directly from those affected by homelessness. Greater awareness means increased access to school, according to Nilan, instrumental in improving Illinois and federal legislation to remove barriers to education for the over 1.5 million homeless children in America.

The HEAR US award-winning documentary, My Own Four Walls, (on DVD) has been seen by thousands of adults and children across the country. “Audience reaction is tremendous,” states Diane Nilan, the former director of the PADS homeless shelter at Hesed House in Aurora. “My Own Four Walls and our other videos and books have created more awareness than we can ever calculate. I’m humbled by the courageous kids who agreed to participate in this project, and so deeply grateful for George Winston’s generous support.”
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