The Expanding Boogie Circus…….

Hello Boogie Friends,

I have an exciting upcoming collaboration with the wonderful Sydney soul singer Sally King, and guitarist Shane Pacey from iconic blues band the Bondi Cigars.

Hope you can make it along to Petersham Bowling Club on Sunday Oct 21st, my special Boogie Circus show complete with saxophone and a short tribute to Aretha Franklin! Wonderful venue (community owned and operated), great sound system and food.

We then charge off down the coast to Tathra, Merimbula and Moruya, it’s been too long since playing down there, so looking forward to it.

Through storms and rain we play on!

Yours in boogie and blues,


Boogie from Hamburg to Sydney

Hello boogie friends,

Big news this month is the release of a tutoring book called SHE PLAYS Boogie-woogie and Blues Piano which I co-wrote with my German friend Ulrike Gaate.
This book is particularly helpful for women or girls with small hands, and takes the reader through many boogie left hand grooves from simple to more advanced, as well as how to improvise and incorporate licks in the right hand. We’ve included a history of Women boogie piano players, both past and present, with exciting candid photos from the vibrant boogie scene in Europe. (With an estimated 3000 boogie piano players in Germany, it’s often referred to as Boogieland.)

So if you’ve taken piano lessons in the past and want to get super excited and reinvigorated musically, this is the book for you! It’s published through German company Tredition and can be ordered through them, from Amazon, or from my website The book contains links to audio downloads for people who don’t read music well and find it easier to learn “by ear.”

Right now Mike and I are off to Jumpers and Jazz in July at Warwick in Queensland to play 2 shows. Check out this festival online, it has the most extraordinary art, mostly knitted or with a craft element, that I have ever seen.  The streets of Warwick are transformed during this 2 week festival, and some of the wearable art from passerbys is gobsmacking.

Next month is not just busy, but more what you would call frantic! Highlights are a performance of my original score for the Australian Silent movie The Cheaters at the Melbourne International Film Festival, concerts in Cootamundra and Canberra, and a weekend jazz festival at the Bay Of Many Coves in NZ’s beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

In the meantime my head is in composition mode; one hour and 20 minutes of original music for The Cheaters is no small job, just a tiny bit scary!

Yours from pianoland,


North to the Sun!

Hello Boogie Friends,

Winter has snuck up on us here in Sydney, and we are (wisely) touring north for 2 concerts in Northern NSW, before ending up at the fabulous “Blues on Broadbeach” festival on the Gold Coast.

Our concerts in NZ this month were brilliant. Tauranga Jazz Festival outdoor stage was magical, Waihi Beach divine, and the Dome Room at the Poverty Bay Club in Gisborne is one of the most interesting venues I’ve ever played. I felt like I was somewhere in Berlin or New York, and I would urge people to check it out. It has a unique funky vibe, also operating as an arthouse cinema.

Speaking of cinemas, I am very excited to begin composing for the Australian Silent Film “The Cheaters” for a performance at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August. More about that soon!

I’ve also recently completed music for a short film about the Suffragettes for the Auckland Museum; an inspirational film made by my sister Gaylene, using interviews from women recounting their achievement of getting the right to vote in NZ.

I had no idea what these women went through!

We hope you can come along to one of our concerts in Brisbane, Melbourne, Geelong, Canberra, Perisher, Cootamundra, Adelaide, Marlborough Sounds NZ, Sydney, the Gold Coast and more.

Yours in boogie and blues!


February, March and Easter happenings!

Hello boogie friends,
What a blast it was to attend the Australian Blues Festival in Goulburn this past weekend!
Not only playing our own concerts, but also to hear the wealth of fantastic blues musicians and songwriters from throughout Australia, many of whom I hadn’t heard before (Geoff Achison, Lloyd Spiegel, Bonnie Kay) as well as many friends who I have enormous respect for such as Ali Penney, Nick Charles, and the electric blues band Tomcat Playground. Their performances gave me so much inspiration.
On Friday night we had Nick Charles sit in with us to play tunes he recorded from my latest CD “Play It Again Jan” and that show was a real highlight – I only wish he didn’t live in Melbourne!

And so to the present; coming up in March are 2 performances of my show “Wonderful Winnie” (the life and music of Winifred Atwell) in Canberra and Lismore, then NZ concerts around Easter in April. All details are on my website.

I want to make a special mention of our show this Saturday night at a unique venue in Wollombi, near the picturesque Central Coast and Hunter Valley. I’ve been playing there for years (since back in the day of the Wollombi Music Festival). The venue has recently changed hands and is now called the Harp Of Erin.
It’s a dinner/show format, the ambience and food is great, and the place is run by people with big hearts and good vibes. It’s $55 for dinner and show, with some places still available, so I would urge you to consider booking an Air BnB in the area and joining us!

Meanwhile here in Sydney in the blistering heat I’ve finished composing for the extraordinary BBC Scotland feature documentary “Border Politics” and am about to start composing for another film.

Only now am I feeling cheated by the lack of a break over Christmas and New Year and in surfacing this week it is with shock I realise the holiday season has been and gone, everything’s open again, kids are back at school, and I missed that particular boat!

At least I can wish you all a not-too-late Happy Chinese New Year and hope to see you at one of our shows.

Yours in boogie and blues,

WA – The Last Leg!!

Hello Boogie friends,

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to our concerts in Sydney, South Australia and Victoria. I’ve been really happy with the response to the new songs from the ‘Play It Again Jan’ CD (Mr Mogo Man and The Sun Shines being two particular crowd favourites).

We are wrapping up the tour in WA with shows at Fremantle and Perth this weekend, before heading out to Blues @ Bridgetown in the glorious South West Region of West Australia.




I may need to put my feet up for a while after that, although only briefly, as I’ve started composing for a film, which I’m sworn to secrecy on at the moment. I’ll keep you posted; it’s very interesting…..


It’ll be lovely to finally catch up with our fans in WA, and I even have a new Tim Winton book to read while in Fremantle!


Yours in boogie and blues,


A Festival and CD Launch!

Hello Boogie friends,
It’s been a long time coming, 4 years in fact, but from the adversity of breaking my wrists I have risen, like a piano playing Phoenix from the ashes with my new CD, PLAY IT AGAIN JAN and an Australian Tour beginning at Illawarra’s fabulous “Folk By The Sea” festival next weekend SEP 22nd and 23rd.
Mike and I will be joined by bass playing sensation Liz Frencham for our shows on
Fri 22nd @ 6.30pm and Sat 23rd @ 8.30pm

Next up is our Sydney CD launch at the SEYMOUR CENTRE SOUND LOUNGE 7.30pm SAT OCT 14, followed by dates through VIC, SA and WA.
Bookings for the Sound Lounge are Ph (02) 9351 7940 or online

I really love this album, it’s definitely my best; the team were awesome, especially engineer/co-producer Nigel Masters from the Boatshed Studios in Tauranga NZ.
I’ve got sound bites on my website, so please check some of the tracks such as The Sun Shines, Blues and the Boogie, and Scared of the Dark. It’s currently in production, copies will be ready in a few days time, and we already have pre-orders.

And for people in Adelaide, we are excited that the film I composed music for earlier this year, My Year With Helen (directed and produced by my lovely sister Gaylene), has been programmed in October at the Adelaide International Film Festival. Very cool.

See you out and about!
Yours in boogie and blues,

New CD On It’s Way!

Hello boogie friends,

Exciting news – my “Play It Again Jan” CD is in the finishing stages! This new baby is very precious to me, I have taken time, attention, as well as passion and hard work in all aspects from the songwriting to the recording and mastering.

A huge thanks to Nigel Masters, (co producer, engineer and bass player, he can do everything!) who’s produced an amazing series of tracks in his studio in Tauranga, NZ.

Over the decades that I’ve been making albums, this is the best recording of my voice ever. Love it!

We will now embark on a national tour to launch the CD, beginning in Sydney on Oct 14th, through Victoria, SA, and ending in WA in November.

Here are some photos taken at the “Noosa Alive” Festival in July, where Rococo presented a 3 day festival on the beach.

It was great fun to play 3 handers with Wil Sargeson and The Wizard, and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven to play a white grand piano on the beach! (The closest I have previously come was teaching piano to director Jane Campion before the making of her film “The Piano”, which opens with footage of a grand piano on a wild NZ beach.)

Hope to see you soon, and we’ll be back in touch about the CD launches.

Yours in boogie and blues,


A Film, a Tour and a Birthday!

Hello boogie friends,

Many thanks to the people who came out to our short North Island NZ concert series recently; Napier was a particular highlight.
The consensus of opinion seems to be unanimously that I’m playing as well as ever and singing better, this probably due to my implementing the New York Taubman piano technique method that sees me sitting a lot higher.
Opens the lungs I guess!
So from everything bad something good comes……..well, mostly……

Special news about my sister Gaylene’s film MY YEAR WITH HELEN for which I wrote the music. (Choir, percussion and piano, most unusual for me!)
Gaylene spent 2016 tracking Helen Clark in her bid to become UN Secretary General and the film has been chosen for showcase screenings in the Sydney Film Festival and the New Zealand International

Gaylene will attend the World Premiere at the Sydney Film Festival together with Helen Clark, where it will be a Special Presentation at the magnificent State Theatre on June 10, followed by a Q&A session about the making of the film.
Here are the links; the State Theatre screening is almost sold out, so be quick if you want to attend that one.
– Saturday 10th June, State Theatre, 4.20pm
– Sunday 11th June, Dendy Opera Quays Cinema, 5.30pm

Lastly, Mike and I are off to Germany today for a 3 week tour, and are very excited to be reconnecting with our Blues and Boogie fraternity in Berlin and Hamburg.

And for once, here’s a personal photo on my birthday yesterday with my awesome son Ivan.
Not a piano in sight!

Yours in boogie,

Back on My Bike!

Hello Boogie Friends,

Much composing and performing activity this month and next, so I am back on my bike, indeed pedalling hard!

First up, the wonderful Yackandandah Folk Festival in Victoria next weekend where we are playing three concerts. It’s a beautiful rural town, an extremely well run festival with a special heart to it, great acts, highly recommended.

Next a trip across the Tasman to the PumpHouse in Auckland for one concert on March 31 as part of their 40 Year anniversary, an amazing achievement for a venue anywhere in the world. I’m delighted to be returning to the PumpHouse, it’s been a few years and it’s a fabulous concert room with a terrific Baldwin Grand piano

During April I’m touring theatres in NZ and completing the score for my sister Gaylene’s film.

The score comprises piano, percussion and voice for which I will be recording a choir in my studio in Sydney, percussion in Auckland, and mixing in Wellington. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed working on this extraordinary documentary about Helen Clark and the United Nations. It’s very unlike any other film music I have ever written!

Please come along and hear my new wrists in concert action throughout April in theatres in Palmerston North, Napier, Wellington and Tauranga. Who says I can’t play the Bumbleboogie at speed with metal plates? You will be as stunned and amazed as me at what those clever doctors have achieved!

Yours in boogie,

Play it Again, Jan!

Hello boogie friends,

Yes, I can play it again and, I think, better than ever!
5 months after breaking both my wrists, you’ll be delighted to hear that everything is now back to normal and I cannot tell you how relieved and happy I am to be back at those wonderful 88’s.

Having been a guest on 2 shows in Sydney last December, I’ll now be performing my first entire concert, part of the Gold Coast City Jazz Club’s Concert Series next Monday Feb 20th.

I’ll be joined by Mike on drums and the very talented (Brisbane based) Andrew Shaw on bass, as well as special guest, the fabulously virtuosic piano player, Kiwi ex-pat Will Sargeson.
Will plays phenomenal boogie and we intend to carve it up together for sure!

The past few weeks I’ve also been composing music for a fascinating film, directed by my sister Gaylene Preston.
Gaylene has a unique voice amongst filmmakers which has given her longstanding success, great respect and countless awards, and I am delighted to be working with her.
The project will wrap in April, so stay posted to hear more in my next newsletter!

So what else does 2017 hold in store?
A return in March to the delightful Yackandandah Folk Festival in Victoria, some April ‘Play It Again Jan’ concerts in theatres in the North Island of NZ, the recording of a new CD in May (at last!) and a tour back to our beloved German Boogie Festivals in June.

Hope to see you soon!