George Winston concert to feed Livingston County needy

Great music, a fabulous venue and a worthy cause – it all adds up to an impressive evening: a concert/food drive featuring renowned pianist George Winston at the Hartland Performing Arts Center on Dec. 8.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1 at

The event — a joint partnership between the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce and 2 Stones Events with St. Joseph Mercy Livingston — also includes a food drive for the Livingston County Hunger Council.

“He wants to give back to the communities that support his shows, by tutoring the underprivileged, who are eager to learn to play jazz piano— another great reason to come hear this incredible musician,” said Pam McConeghy, president of the chamber. “Businesses can join this effort too by sponsoring the concert and turning this into a win-win for the entire community.”

2 Stones Events’ Whitney and Cal Stone promote live music as a catalyst for business and a proven way to bring a community together. Their Brighton-based firm has been booking the acts for Brighton’s Smokin’ Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival, as well as many other chamber and non-chamber events in the city and surrounding communities for many years.

“We anticipate a sell-out,” Whitney Stone, “so if you’re planning on going, you might not want to wait until the last minute to get your seats.”

This is actually the second time these three organizations have teamed up to present George Winston. In April 2016 he played a sold-out show at the 900-seat Brighton Center for the Performing Arts.

“We wanted to bring George back to the BCPA, but the dates just didn’t work out,” Stone said. “But the Hartland venue is only 15 minutes north, so we’re anticipating many of the same folks who saw him in Brighton.”

The Hartland PAC’s location at US23 and M59 is ideal for drawing people from Ann Arbor, Lansing, Flint and metro-Detroit, and there is plenty of free parking. Its intimate seating, just 752, is a perfect setting for hearing a master perform on a 9-foot Steinway piano, said Stone.


Winston began playing acoustic piano after hearing legendary stride players Fats Waller and Teddy Wilson. He came up with his own style of melodic instrumental music — folk piano — influenced by New Orleans R&B pianists Professor Longhair, James Booker and Henry Butler.

Winston, who grew up mainly in Montana, has released 13 solo piano albums. His Dec. 8 concert will include melodic folk piano songs from his recordings; Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces; pieces inspired by the New Orleans R&B piano tradition and the Harlem stride piano tradition; and songs from latest album, Spring Carousel – A Cancer Research Benefit.

Winston is also working on solo guitar and is recording the masters of the Hawaiian slack key guitar for an extensive series of albums for Dancing Cat Records. 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.

“Innovative, celebrated and accomplished, Winston is the real deal.” – RAB, Toledo City Paper.

Perhaps as impressive as his musical abilities is Winston’s philanthropic efforts. Every one of his concerts features a food drive for a local non-profit; for this event, it will be the Livingston County Hunger Council. Additionally, 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of Winston’s merchandise in the lobby will go towards the Livingston County Hunger Council.

St. Joseph Mercy Livingston was the first to recognize the importance of this event, and came on board as the presenting sponsor.

“We are pleased to sponsor this event to help bring innovative programs that restore mind, body and spirit to the Brighton community,” said Laura Blodgett, St. Joe’s spokesperson. “We recognize that music plays a role in both healing and maintaining good health. As part of our Join Me grassroots initiative, St. Joe’s is working to improve the health of our communities by encouraging these healthy activities.”

To view videos of Winston, click here.

Event: George Winston concert
Location: Hartland Performing Arts Center, 9525 E. Highland Road, Howell, MI 48843
Time/Date: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018; doors open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: On sale at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1; $35 and $50. A limited number of VIP tickets ($100) include entry to a private post-event reception (location TBA), autographed poster, and VIP lanyard; available only until Nov. 8. To purchase online, visit
Information: (810) 599-0491
Food Drive: Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned food item for the Livingston County Hunger Council (of course, monetary donations will be accepted as well). All proceeds from sales of George Winston merchandise in the lobby will go to the food drive as well.
Presenters: Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph Mercy Health System Livingston, and 2 Stones Events


Sharing is caring!

The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.