By Terri Gautier
Mount Tabor resident George Mitchell’s new CD, Dream Garden, is a collection of original songs and swing jazz standards performed by Mitchell and two world-class artists from Portland, Scott Steed on bass and Dick Berk on drums.
The CD release coincides with the 50th anniversary of pop superstar Diana Ross’ impressive career in the music industry and, for more than 30 of those years, Mitchell has accompanied Ms. Ross on stage as her first-call pianist. He has toured every year since 1981 as part of the rhythm section, and continues to perform before audiences worldwide.
Center stage with Ross and a 40-piece orchestra in 2009 at the extravagant Symphonica in Rosso at the Gelredome, in Arnhem, Netherlands, Mitchell’s performed at the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies in Oslo, Norway, and at a command concert for the British Royal Family in Hyde Park, London.
From age seven, the Portland native displayed a musical maturity and talent that in his twenties found him performing with jazz kegends Sonny Stitt, Philly Jo Jones, Richie Cole, Eddie Harris, Jon Hendricks and Kirk Whalum.
Other notable performances include Super Concerts in Taipei and Tokyo with Ross and opera singers Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo; the 1988 Live In Central Park show before 400,000 people; the Motown 25th Anniversary show where he watched Michael Jackson from the wings roll out the Moonwalk. Most recently, he was guest keyboardist on Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, during its Spring run at the Keller Auditorium.
When not touring, Mitchell pursues his first love of playing jazz piano and Hammond B-3 organ on the local and regional scene. He is a highly sought-after studio musician with credentials on many Northwest artists’ albums. His musical voice spans all jazz styles, RnB, and pop and his versatility has made him a pianist of choice for Northwest jazz band leaders, and a leading accompanist for guest artists performing with the symphony and at festival engagements.
Visit his website at georgemitchellmusic.com. His albums are available at www.cdbaby.com/artist/GeorgeMitchell.