Folk pianist George Winston brings NOLA inspiration to his concert at Hancock PAC on February 25.
- story by Lisa Monti
Click here to purchase tickets online!
Winston’s rural folk style is unique, but those who attend his Kiln concert will recognize the musical inspiration he draws from New Orleans R&B pianists Henry Butler, James Booker, Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Jon Cleary and his good friend, Allen Toussaint.
Winston has recorded 14 piano solo albums and has three awaiting release. His resume includes the solo piano soundtrack for “The Velveteen Rabbit” and the soundtrack for a Peanuts episode. The Kiln also audience can expect to hear some Vince Guaraldi-inspired Charlie Brown and gang pieces as well as Winston’s solo guitar and harmonica talents. He plays exclusively on Steinway pianos, and one is being brought in for the Kiln show.
Winston, a Montana native, has a Mississippi connection: he attended junior high in Jackson, and he has played at venues in Ocean Springs. “It’s great to get back there to Mississippi,” he said, calling the state “an island all its own. It’s definitely not Tennessee, Louisiana or Alabama.”
His upcoming local performance came about as “a happy accident,” according to Catherine Tibbs, HPAC coordinator. When Winston couldn’t get an Ocean Springs venue booked, his agent found the HPAC’s website and got in touch. Winston, Tibbs said, “likes going to new places because he’s played so many different venues.”
Winston said he’s “heard very good things” about the Hancock County facility which has 842 seats, state of the art equipment and brag-worthy acoustics and lighting. Proceeds from this concert will benefit the Hancock High School Education Foundation. Guests are encouraged to bring a donation of canned food to the concert to benefit the Hancock County Food Pantry.
Tibbs said the foundation supports Hancock High’s arts programs. “We have so many talented students in the district and the building was created for those underserved students. The proceeds will provide funding to purchase instruments, fund theatrical master classes to prepare the performers and to get the choir started up again.”
Tibbs is hoping for a good turnout for Winston’s performance “to show we have and appreciation for his music and we want him to return.”
Winston’s Hancock High performance will consist of two one-hour sets though he doesn’t yet have a set list. “I won’t know the song titles until that day or until I do it,” he said of his concert sets. “I have to really want to play the song. Otherwise, “I can’t do it.”
An evening with celebrated solo pianist
Monday, February 25 7-9 p.m.
Hancock Performing Arts Center
7140 Stennis Airport Drive, Kiln
General admission seating: $25
Tickets available through Eventbrite or the Hancock PAC Facebook Page
For more info, or help buying tickets, call (228) 255 6247
Event organizer, Martha Whitney Butler is an artist and floral designer who owns the French Potager in Bay St. Louis. Butler has been creating small quirky installations in her Main Street shop since she opened three years ago and they’ve become a draw for locals and regular customers, who often stop in just to see her latest creation.
Butler, who also serves as president of The Arts, Hancock County and is a popular columnist with the Fourth Ward Cleaver webzine, has been planning a larger, outdoor floral installation for more than a year. In October, a group of florists in Detroit made national news by transforming an abandoned building into a“flower house.” Butler was inspired to invite other coast artists and floral designers to work with her on a collaborative project here on the coast to bring in the new year.
According to Butler, the exhibit will be a “jungle of flora and fauna.” The installation will cover the outside wall of a building on the corner of Main and Second Street, “grow” across an iron patio fence bordering the sidewalk and move through the doors of the historic cottage that is home to Smith and Lens Gallery. The gallery walls - and even the ceilings - will be included with the installation.
There's a suggested five dollar donation to view the part of the installation that's in the gallery. Funds collected will be split between the artists to help cover the costs of the materials. Several show related items will also be for sale in the gallery, with proceeds going toward project expenses.
Butler’s a bit cagey about exactly what the installation will look like. She wants it to be “a surprise,” and says that it’s evolving. She did describe a “bird’s nest throne” however.
She says “the point of the project is to emphasize the transitory beauty of life and nature and encourage people to appreciate small moments of joy as time moves on.”
Smaller installations by Butler in the French Potager
Bay Featured on WGNO's "News With a Twist"
Old Town merchants and Mayor Les Fillingame turn out in full force to tape a spot for WGNO (New Orleans) "News With A Twist." The show will be featuring the Bay as a fun place to visit and aired the week of October 7th. Watch one of the short video spots below!
Carts4Kids Project by S&L Office and CASA
On Saturday, September 12, 2015 Chris Cochran of S&L Office Supplies in Waveland presented a check to CASA of Hancock County’s Executive Director, Cynthia Chauvin. This check was made possible through a recycling project that Cochran started in early 2015 entitled Carts4kids.
S&L Office Supplies collects used toner cartridges from businesses and individuals in the community. If a business agrees to donate used cartridges he will have one of his employees pick up the materials. Cochran also uses his business as a drop off location for individuals and smaller businesses. Once bundled, these used products are shipped off and either refilled and/or repurposed back into the community.
Cochran created Carts4kids as a way to encourage recycling within his business and to give back to community organizations who do amazing work. “CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children," CASA’s ED Cynthia Chauvin said. "As a local nonprofit, we are always looking for ways to get the community involved in our cause. Carts4kids allows people to learn more about CASA and to help raise funds by recycling." In addition to the $1032 check that was presented to CASA, S&L Office Supplies also donated a black and white copier/scanner to the organization.
If you are interested donating used toner cartridges please visit the carts4kids.com website or contact S&L Office Supplies at 228.467.0002. If you would like to know more about CASA please call 228.344.0419.
George's Girls Expands
George's Girls, 108 S. Beach, in the French Settlement Building, have nearly doubled the size of their store this month. In addition to their luxury bedding and sleepwear, they're also carrying fashion, loungewear and accessories.
“Purveyors of Fine Linens” is the shop’s tag-line, yet co-owner Laura Lucore points out that they carry all types of products to “make your home luxurious and to pamper yourself.”
Library Launches Digital Project
October is American Archives month! To celebrate, the Hancock County Library in Bay St. Louis, in cooperation with the Hancock County Historical Society, is hosting Back in Time, a day of archival discovery and participation on October 10 at the library in Bay St. Louis. Help us make history more accessible to everyone, and learn more about the importance of preserving, cataloging, and caring for the things that are important to you.
Historic Tour Goes Digital
If Smith & Lens Gallery owners/artists Ann Madden and Sandy Maggio have anything to do with it, Dolly Parton will be celebrating her next birthday in Old Town Bay St. Louis. The country-western icon was born in January, so Madden, Maggio and other Old Town merchants are planning a themed Second Saturday on January 9th.
The event will feature a Dolly Parton look-alike contest and organizers hope to have a host of other happenings like hay rides, clogging and square dancing, country food, live music and a Dolly-themed art show. The theory is that Dolly will hear about it and want to come check out the Bay in person!
Stay tuned for more details by checking out the Old Town Merchants website or checking out the Dolly Should page on Facebook!
Rosato says that the announcement hasn’t been made in papers or on radio yet. He wanted to give locals a chance to buy “Early Bird” tickets online for as little as $25.
While the festival will run from Friday through Sunday, Saturday will be the only ticketed day. Admission on Friday and Sunday will be free.
Rosato explained the unique set-up. “Saturday, we have the big guns bands scheduled, like Gregg Allman, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Mel Waiters, Frank Foster and Brandon Niederauer.”
“On Friday and Sunday, we’ll have light music out there for atmosphere, a fun kids’ area and an art market. It’ll be more about showcasing the Bay-Waveland area on those days.”
Bay Harborfest has scheduled ten bands already and there are more acts being finalized. The main stage will be located on the beach for 2015, north of the harbor.
“People say they can’t believe it, and rightly so, it’s unbelievable,” says Rosato.
“I am determined to create a regionally significant and unique event and utilize our setting – the iconic beach, the harbor and the bridge. Nobody’s going to be able to touch it.”
The Bay Harborfest Website
Bill On-The-Road Falls For the Bay
Light, Cameras, Bay St. Louis!
In late April, the Bay worked it's charm on St. Louis-based radio commentator, writer and videographer Bill Clevlen.
Clevlen's website, Bill On The Road, is filled with articles, podcasts and videos from his trips around the country to "discover the people and places making America great."
Apparently, he fell hard for BSL. The article is titled,"Bay St. Louis, MS: Beyond Katrina, Beyond Hospitality." In his opening paragraphs, he eloquently states what we who live here know so well and never take for granted:
I hadn’t been out of the 39520 zip code for more than half an hour before I started to miss the friendly faces, great stories and hugs and handshakes from the people of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.
The small beach town of less than 10,000 residents sits along the states western coast. While the south is generally known for its “hospitality” – the people of Bay Saint Louis seem to go above and beyond just the typical southern smiles and charm.
This was one of the more interesting trips I’ve done as I really had no idea what I’d be doing or who I’d be visiting with before I arrived. Over the course of three days I found one thing in common with every person I interviewed or talked to – people are the reason Bay Saint Louis is such a special place.
Read the entire piece here and then share with friend, family and associates. They'll want to read more of Bill's articles while they're there!
To date, the main feather in the Bay’s Hollywood hat is the 1966 move, “This Property Is Condemned,” directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Robert Redford, Natalie Wood and Charles Bronson.
But that's probably going to change. And soon.
On April 27th, two Old Town establishments were tapped as stand-ins for locations in the Bahamas as the movie crew of “Isolation,” filmed in Bay St. Louis.
Both the Mockingbird Café and the Sycamore House restaurant hosted cast and crew for the action feature, slated for release in November. The movie stars Dominic Purcell, Luke Mably, Tricia Helfer and Marie Avgeropoulos and is directed by Shane Dax Taylor.
"Isolation" began shooting in the Bahamas last December, with additional scenes being shot recently at Cat Island. The movie’s unit production manager, Jase Payne, lives in Gulfport. He says the producers fell in love with the authenticity of Bay St. Louis and decided to shoot some of the scenes here.
According to Payne, Bay St. Louis is a natural star and is sure to host more movie crews in the near future. He knows of two other major features that will be using Mississippi coast locations before the year is out.
“Producers call this the Mississippi coast ‘a hidden gem,’” says Payne. They’d like to keep it a secret, but it’s getting discovered all the same.”
Also, read the Sea Coast Echo's May 1st story about a Luke Perry movie shooting in Kiln.
Waveland Home Featured on "Tiny House Nation"
It's been nearly a decade since Hurricane Katrina destroyed the home of Pye Parson and forced her family to relocate from the coast to Birmingham. While she always dreamed of rebuilding in Waveland, it seemed unaffordable until she stumbled onto the concepts touted in the hit television show "Tiny House Nation."
Using plans designed by her brother-in-law, Bruce Lanier (Standard Creative, in Birmingham), Pye began building a new sort of dream house. The whole process was followed by the "Tiny House Nation" crews and is the subject of an hour-long episode of show on FYI network - "The 576 sq. ft. Mississippi Memory Home."
Pye's house is also showcased as the Cleaver "Home of the Month." Read Pye's story and take a visual tour of the house in this month's At Home in the Bay column!
Once Again - BSL is a Top Ten
In April, the website "The Culture Trip" named Bay St. Louis as one of the "Top Ten Most Beautiful Cities in Mississippi."
Located on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast, a few miles from the border with Louisiana, Bay St. Louis is an idyllic seaside town brimming with rich history, beautiful sights and a lively cultural scene just begging to be explored.
Read the rest here and see who else made the cut.
This month - New engine tested at Stennis, Mockingbird Cafe in running for Best Burger in State, Hancock Chamber Annual Meeting and Trapani's adds brunch menu!
New Engine Type Tested at Stennis on January 9th
The milestone hot fire test conducted on Jan. 9, involved igniting a shuttle-era RS-25 space shuttle main engine for 500 seconds on the A-1 test stand at Stennis.
A quartet of RS-25s, formerly used to power the space shuttle orbiters, will now power the core stage of the SLS which will be the most powerful rocket the world has ever seen.
Read the full article here.
The Best Burger in State? The Mockingburger's in the TOP TEN!
Our own Mockingbird Cafe's famous Mockingburger has just become famous across the state! The Mississippi Beef Council recently announced the top 10 finishers in their Mississippi's Best Burger Contest.
The Mockingbird Cafe is the only restaurant on the coast that made the finals.
The council will now send "expert" judges to visit the restaurants anonymously to determine the winner.
Each of the Top 10 will receive a recognition plaque and the winning restaurant will receive a $1,000 local advertising package, complements of Mississippi’s 17, 000 cattle producers through their beef checkoff program.
In addition to the advertising package, the winner will be honored during the Beef Night performance of the Dixie National Rodeo on February 17 - which is Mardi Gras Day in our neck of the woods. So Bay St. Louis might have another reason to celebrate!
Hancock Chamber Elects Mark Henderson 2015 President