Jan Preston’s earliest musical memories were of singalongs at the piano with one Aunt playing boogie/stride piano and another on violin. All the Prestons sang and played some instrument, even if it was only eggbeater or tea chest bass.
Jan was born in the South Island of NZ, studied classical piano and singing from an early age, and always loved performing live.
After completing a music degree, she joined the infamous Red Mole Theatre troup in Wellington, toured NZ with Spilt Enz, and was musical director for the legendary and enormously popular Red Mole Cabaret shows in Wellington.
At this time she was asked by Sam Neil (then a film director) to write music for a documentary he was making, and Jan has been composing for films ever since.
In the late 1970’s she moved briefly to New York where she heard many of the great r’nb piano players, came back to NZ and formed the rock/reggae band “Coup D’Etat” who’s song “Doctor I Like Your Medicine” was a no 1 hit., and then moved on to Sydney where she has lived since1980.
Jan is a fulltime composer, songwriter, and piano player who has specialized in mastering the piano boogie tradition, thus becoming known as Australia’s “queen of boogie piano.”
She has played many music festivals in Australia, NZ and Europe, composed and performed music for silent films, and continues to write film scores for NZ and Australian drama and documentary. Jan has won 3 Awards for Best Film Score, and 2 for Best Australian Female Blues Artist.
Jan has a 19 year old son and her sister, Gaylene, is a well known NZ filmmaker.