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Stories and Press Realeases

Jan Preston Jan Preston

70 years ago, the American Armed Services arrived in NZ. To honour the event, an afternoon of 1930s jazz/swing and boogie-woogie piano music.

In concert with Jan Preston and Mary Gow.

Jan Preston is a knockout boogie pianist with a rich resonant voice, who captures audiences with her mastery of boogie and ragtime piano style. She has a well-deserved reputation as a magnetic live performer, astonishing piano player and great communicator.

Mary Gow is a Wellington musician, pianist and organiser of the Mulled Wine concert series. To mark the celebration in Kapiti of the 70th Anniversary of the arrival in New Zealand of the American Armed Services (including a large contingent of US Marines), Mary and Jan will present a stunning festival of US-themed piano jazz, the piano being provided for the event by Music Planet/PianoHouse in Wellington.

Winner of 7 music awards, Jan lives in Sydney and plays festivals and concerts throughout Australia, NZ, and Europe, tours her own shows and writes music for films, such as the music for her sister Gaylene Preston’s film, “Home By Christmas”. Jan says “I am very excited to be part of the Mulled Wine Concert Series for 2012 as I love Paekakariki and haven’t had the opportunity to perform there during my NZ tours in the last few years. This concert series is brilliantly organised by Mary Gow, and I am greatly looking forward to playing with her in a ‘4 hand’ situation, very exciting! The audience should expect a surprising, entertaining and musically expansive afternoon which we are delighted to present within the Salute 70 Festival.”

Organised by the Kapiti US Marines Trust in cooperation with the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC), the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) and a range of other heritage, environment and tourism groups, Salute 70 aims to engage Kiwis and American citizens with connections to this important period of history. The main focus of the Salute 70 Festival is the Wellington Region, particularly in Camps Paekakariki, Russell and Mackay where over 15,000 US military personnel were stationed and will also acknowledge the thousands of sailors who manned the 200 or more naval and support vessels which came to NZ during the war.

Paekakariki and its iconic Memorial Hall, with its unique beach-front location and views to Kapiti island and the South Island will form one of the centre-pieces of the Festival. “What better way to honour the ex-combatants and their families than to present a concert of the music they were listening to at the time?” says Mary Gow.

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