Warming Up Winter!

I am surfacing from what has been an amazing adventure indeed at the Street Theatre in Canberra.

Many thanks to those who came to my show, ‘Adventures in Pianoland’ to make this a sold out season. We were, quite literally, turning people away!

Huge thanks to my amazing sister Gaylene for her expert and inspirational writing and direction, Lisa Maule for her extraordinary lighting, Michelle French for creating a world for my photos, Dean Ellis, Su Hodge and everyone at the Street,and last, but certainly not least, the 9 foot grand piano for being a friend.

I am working towards presenting ‘Adventures’ next year in both Australia and NZ, so stay posted!

And to all the fans who have emailed with requests, YES, we are playing a series of concerts back at Rococo Restaurant in Noosa on the very weekend the festival has always been presented!

No full Jazz Festival this year, but you can hear my trio at the usual ‘al fresco’ spot on Hasting St, fabulous food, wine and coffee, plus the white grand piano. (Plus, as you know, hundreds on the street!)

Before then, I am special guest of ‘Tomcat Playground’ this Sunday afternoon in the NSW town of Berry, at the lovely Mountain Ridge Winery. 1pm sharp, one set only.

Later in September brings a solo concert at Capers Guesthouse’s ‘Weekend of music’ where people can stay for the weekend. This is a divine Hunter Valley guesthouse and cottage retreat.

We then return to one of my favourite festivals, Folk By the Sea, and wind up September with a return to the lovely South Coast, including one show at the Moruya Golf Club.

Yours in boogie and blues,

Jan

Road Trip North !

Hello Boogie friends,

A huge thanks to the Broadbeach Blues Festival in Queensland and the NZ Jazz and Blues Festival in Christchurch for having ‘Jan Preston’s Boogie Circus’ in their programs. Both festivals had a generous musical spirit at their hearts, excellent sound, lighting, technical and production staff, and it makes performing music pure joy when we musicians have such positivity and help surrounding us.

And wow, the audiences were amazing!

Being back in the South Island of NZ (where I was born) was obviously very special for me, and traveling through that landscape, always with the river in view, gave me a very powerful feeling of belonging.

The Playhouse Theatre Café at Mapua near Nelson lived up to it’s fine reputation, our last show being in my birthplace of Greymouth, after which a woman came up and asked me if Tui Macdonald (maiden name) was my mother? When I replied yes, she told me Tui was her Sunday School Teacher! (My mother must have been very young at that time.)

Finally Mike and I thank the 2 acoustic bass players on this Trans Tasman tour, the fabulous Andrew Shaw from Brisbane and the ever brilliant Nigel Masters from Tauranga.

Boogie is a challenge for bass players since there’s so much going on in my left hand, and it’s rare to find guys like these who have just the right groove and feel.

So now we’re off on the archetypal long road trip to North Queensland!

Days of driving, heat, exotic places, and music lie ahead for us, first at the Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival in Winton, where, along with our Boogie show, we will perform the iconic Australian Silent movie, ‘The Kid Stakes’. Another long drive finds us in Rockhampton where we have been invited by the Livingstone Council to play 3 concerts (one being my show about Winifred Atwell) and a Boogie piano workshop.

What happened to my early retirement?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final Shows for 2015

Hello Boogie Friends,

It’s been a whirlwind time, the highlight being my season of ‘Adventures in Pianoland’ at Circa Theatre in Wellington.

Many thanks to all the people who came to the show; it’s a great feeling to sell out a season (4 performances, the theatre holds 120) and to be so well received.

It was scary for me to talk about my life, and to perform completely solo, as I have got used to my trusty rhythm section! But I enjoyed the challenge and will hopefully have a return season at some point in other theatres in NZ and Australia.

 

A big “thank you” to my wonderful publicist, Colleen McColl, lighting designer Lisa Maule and my amazing sister Gaylene Preston for her direction and script; the piano, lights and slides created a world for me to step into, and step into it I did.

It was a blast and I loved it!

 

Since returning to Oz, Mike and I have played 2 concerts at Moruya NSW, in the Granite Town Music Festival where I sang, for the first time, my song about local identity ‘Mr Mogo Man’. I was touched and encouraged by the enthusiastic acknowledgement from the audience at the end of the song. Neil Finn says new songs are like new friends in your life, and I now feel I have the local blessing and can take ‘Mr Mogo Man’ on the road with me.

 

We have one last trip away for 2015, this time to South Australia, and these shows are our last for the year. (Details below)

In case I don’t get to send out a Christmas wish, have a good one everyone, and we’ll hope to catch up with you in the New Year at the Illawarra Folk Festival or perhaps in our hometown, Sydney, where we will be playing one show with a very special surprise guest.

 

Yours in boogie and blues!

Jan

 

Piano

“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”  Plato.

When Jan Preston came into the world, her first instinct was towards that unstoppable human need……..

Music.

Adventures In Pianoland will take you on a personal life story in this one woman show as Jan comes clean on her longstanding and sometimes bumpy road to piano ‘stardom’ which has seen her proclaimed “the Australian Queen of boogie” in Poland and “the white Winnie,” in the RSLs of Queensland.  Stories abound and only the guilty will be protected.

The show is directed by Jan’s sister, Gaylene, with projected images of ‘Preston’s childhood, life on the road with Red Mole and Coup D’Etat contrasted with the hurly burly of being a mother and recording artist in the Australian recording industry famous for being tough on artists, where men were men and women were invisible .

Jan is also delighted to include deeply personal original songs from her repertoire which she has rarely performed before, and some new ones which will be given first airing and provide counterpoint to her life’s story.

A perfectly intimate engrossing combination of skilfully performed piano music, images, songs and stories.

Only a longstanding performing musician as engaging and candid as Jan Preston could so intimately tell her unique life story in music and song in this personal one-woman show.

Added to this, of course, is Jan’s thrilling virtuosity as a piano player, which will give the piano a serious workout. Let’s hope it recovers!

From Berlin to Brisbane (and places in between!)

Hello Boogie Friends,
We are so happy to finally be back at home after so much touring this year.
Germany was, as ever, fabulous, the highlight being the concert with the extraordinary Axel Zwingenberger (considered the greatest boogie piano player in the world) at the Orpheum Theatre in Vienna.

It was sensational, and I have never been more nervous in my entire performing life!
We have now completed a trip to Northern NSW and Queensland, and had wonderful shows at both the Newcastle Jazz festival and the Noosa Jazz festival.

Thanks also to the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts for presenting the performance of my original score for the ‘Kid Stakes’ 1927 Silent Film at the Bondi Events Cinema. My grand piano is recovering home at last from it’s adventure, being forklifted back into my upstairs studio. It was great to have it for the performance, and with my dying breath I will thank all the amazing piano movers who have moved my instruments around over many years. I can play them, but I sure as hell can’t move or tune my pianos!

Yours in boogie,
Jan