'I usually play solo," says Jane, who started doing the unaccompanied thing on San Diego stages last Valentine's Day, "but I really like doing duets for the thrill of stage chemistry."
When she was part of the duet Jason and Jane, she opened for Jason Mraz before that local boy went big time. When asked if Mraz has changed since, she says, "I honestly don't know. We haven't kept in touch."
Volleying from Hong Kong, this SDSU graduate has been seen recently at the GoGirlsMusicFest (an event coordinated at Humphrey's by another local female soloist, Bridget Brigitte), the San Diego Indie Music Fest, the Gen Y hangout Lestat's, and as an opener for Gregory Page and Trevor Davis.
Is there a CD? "I'll be recording in December with both Aaron Bowen and Greg Laswell, shooting for a release early 2005." The curious can find some of her moody and narrative piano-driven songs like "Pigeon Woman" and "Freddie Goodtime" at www.myspace.com/janeshands. She says two of her main influences are Tom Waits and Tori Amos, and you can hear it.
"I often have weird dreams of playing live," says Jane. "I think I have them because live shows are still new to me. Twice I heard and saw music at the edge of my waking. When I woke up, I walked over to the piano and played it like I never have before." She's been playing the piano since she was four years old.
Trickiest Musical Problem Playing Live?
"For a long time, no matter how much I rehearsed, it all went out the window when the show began. I go to a unique place when I play, where my mind and voice don't want control of everything, so things can be loose for color changes. It took a long time, but when I finally accepted this, I began writing for the piano with respect. The piano's voice needs space and development just like ours."
"My pretty Yamaha P120. I use more instruments on my record. And that excites me mad."
Most Memorable Gig/Encounter With Fans?
"Walking out of a restaurant one night, I saw a little humpback wagon making a big U-turn in the parking lot. It came at me. I thought I was going to die. It screeched to a stop and a head popped out of the window: 'Hey! I saw you the other night! You were good!'"
Top Five Desert-Island Discs?
1. Björk, Vespertine. "I fly every time I hear this album; she fully embraces the delicacies of sound and energy."
2. Tori Amos, Scarlet's Walk. "Her consistency in translating soundforms is incredible. Her every record is a solid individual world."
3. The Cambridge Singers, directed by John Rutter. "I specialized in choral directing in college. This is a closet passion right now."
4. Getz/Gilberto, featuring Jobim. "This is such a classic that I couldn't leave it out. Also, my mental value of it went up when it got stolen."
5. Iron & Wine, The Creek Drank the Cradle. "I think I sigh every time I hear the beginning."
Top Five Favorite Flicks?
2. Garden State
3. Afterlife (Japanese)
4. Spirited Away ("Must be watched in Japanese.")
5. Grosse Pointe Blank
Most Recent Blog Entry?
November 17: "I'm easily amused. And I consider that to be a good thing. I sold my old electric piano a few weeks ago. As we were carrying her into a van that she's never been in, I could literally hear her whimpering. I also parted with her life-long companion, the bench, and he was going crazy too. I was sad for about a day. Then, just now, seconds before I started writing, Mr. UPS walked up my stairs with my new bench. She's still in the box. I just looked at her; she's shy. So there. Make new friends, but keep the old, huh."