The headline act of this year’s Folk By The Sea festival in Kiama thought her music career was over 12 months ago.
Boogie woogie jazz pianist Jan Preston was forced out of the 2016 festival after breaking both wrists.
An unforeseen speed hump in her neighbour’s driveway was the culprit, the trip hazard forcing her to use her hands to break the fall.
Hear my new wrists in concert action ... who says I can’t play the Bumbleboogie at speed with metal plates?Jan Preston
Not only did the musician need metal plates inserted into both wrists, she reportedly had to learn to play the piano again from scratch.
“I’m playing as well as ever and singing better, this is probably due to my implementing the New York Taubman piano technique method that sees me sitting a lot higher,” she said.
“Opens the lungs I guess!”
After studying classical piano at tertiary level, Preston decided being a concert pianist – or piano teacher – wasn’t for her. From there she worked with theatre, rock bands, as a songwriter and honky tonk pianist.
“Please come along and hear my new wrists in concert action,” Preston said.
“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.”
Folk By The Sea co-ordinator Judy Cork said organisers were thrilled to be able to secure the performer for September’s event.
“We were so disappointed for Jan and for her fans when she broke both her wrists,” Mrs Cork said.
“She has made a full recovery and from all reports is playing better than ever, and we are delighted that she accepted our invitation to show us what we missed out on last year.”
Preston joins more than 50 other acts to take over Kiama Showgrounds and surrounding venues, including Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea, singer-songwriter/comedian Fred Smith and Queensland bluegrass band The Hillbilly Goats.
The Goats are back by popular demand after wowing crowds with their fun stage antics in 2015.
The rest of the acts are yet to be announced but organisers say the festival covers a wide range of musical tastes including gypsy, world, folk, Celtic, roots, country and bluegrass.
Two free concerts will also accompany the main festival program.
Folk By The Sea, Kiama Showground and surrounds, September 22 and 23.
For early bird tickets visit: www.folkbythesea.com.au