SHE Plays Boogie-Woogie & Blues Piano

Ulrike Gaate, Jan Preston
Education & Reference, Film, Arts & Culture

Boogie-woogie is an intoxicating music style that touches the heart and uplifts the spirit of players and listeners alike. Combining boogie-woogie, blues, rock, and rock 'n' roll elements into an enticing mix, boogie & blues piano offers pianists the freedom to play unaccompanied and to present a repertoire that is based on their own particular strengths. The rules of improvisation and how to jam along with other musicians are much easier to learn than in complex jazz music.
Boogie-woogie is also a masculine domain and female pianists are underrepresented. While the large hands and strong male physique associated with greater power and endurance are a great advantage, women and girls can now take heart and are perfectly able to groove and boogie with the best of players by adjusting the notes and licks to a smaller hand with a lighter touch. German ULRIKE GAATE is one of the few female boogie & blues piano players in Europe, and New Zealander JAN PRESTON is known as the "Queen of Boogie Piano" in Australia, where she now lives. The authors met from across the world through their shared love of the boogie piano tradition. They have produced this boogie & blues tutor to help and inspire female players of all ages to experience the uplifting energy and abundant possibilities of this style.
Written for all small-handed piano players, regardless of gender, the book contains original compositions specifically arranged for pianists with small hands ranging in difficulty from lower intermediate to advanced, as well as a variety of suitable left hand patterns and many exercises. The authors present important characteristics of the boogie & blues piano style and provide tips on how to improvise. Audio samples are downloadable as mp3 files and QR codes.






Jan Preston - Boatshed Boogie

The nimble-fingered and powerful-voiced JAN PRESTON, known as Australia’s queen of boogie piano, was born in New Zealand and began her musical life as a classical pianist. But after moving to New York in the late 1970s Jan was turned on to rhythm and blues, hearing pianists there such as Professor Longhair. She returned to NZ, formed a band who quickly had a number-one hit, and in 1980 moved her music career to Sydney, Australia where she has been resident ever since. As well as a pianist, singer and songwriter, Jan is one of the country’s leading film composers. She has won two ‘Best Film Music’ awards, three ‘Best Australian Female Blues Artist’ Awards, written television
themes, featured on TV and radio, and played supports for blues acts such as Robert Cray and Bo Diddley. Currently she plays festivals and concerts throughout Australia, NZ and Europe, tours her own shows, composes for films, and performs original music for silent movies. Above all Jan has focused on discovering her own boogie style, which now sees her shine as a truly Antipodean original.

Jan Preston on ABC TV Spicks & Specks