Whether you want cool, cool jazz or heart rending, heart pumping, down-home blues, this duo has it all here for you. What these two engage in is more than just appealing, Gary and Anita meld their talents together as they magically compliment each other. The highly-charged musical chemistry of harmonica whiz, keyboardist and vocalist Gary, combined with talented bassist/drummer/composer/arranger Anita, is a force to be reckoned with in the blues. Anybody who has seen them or owns any of their CDs can attest to this.
Their music is undeniably blues-based, yet shifts effortlessly between classic and original blues to jazzy blues, seasoned with a touch of Latin spice. Their unique blend of music has touched a chord with audiences everywhere, resulting in a whirlwind of club dates, festival dates, and touring. Recent performances include The Vancouver Island MusicFest, CBC Saturday Night Blues, The Hornby Island Blues Workshop, The CBC Blues Odyssey, and three tours of Europe.
GARY PRESTON —a triple threat on vocals, harmonica and keyboards — Gary specializes in the blues, which he plays with a strong personal style. He has performed from Toronto to Detroit to Vancouver, as well as in Europe and the Caribbean. Gary has been a regular headliner at the Yale Harmonica Blast, an instructor at the Hornby Island All Stars blues camp. He's also been featured in major festivals such as the Island MusicFest, Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Vancouver Island Blues Bash, Calgary International Blues Festival and the International Jazz Festival. Gary has also been heard nationally on CBC Radio, and has made numerous other appearances in recordings, jingles, television and radio. Over the years, Gary has shared the stage with Eric Burdon, James Cotton, Lee Oscar, Colin James, Dutch Mason, The Ray Charles Orchestra, Otis Rush, John Hammond, David Vest, Mark DuFresne, and the late harmonica master, Junior Wells. It was Junior who, after hearing Gary play, pronounced him to be “Good…Damn good!”
ANITA BONKOWSKI has worked nationally and internationally as a drummer, bassist, composer and arranger. Since earning her Masters Degree in Music, she has been busy, playing in various blues bands, as well as having backed such bluesmen as Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, David Vest, David Gogo, and Bill Johnson. In addition to performing blues, Anita also freelances with jazz and R&B bands, musical theater, and show bands. Anita continues to compose and arrange, and her pieces can be heard on radio stations in Canada and the US. She has played numerous festivals and clubs across North America, Europe and the Caribbean. As a percussionist, Anita has backed performers such as Johnny Mathis, Englebert Humperdink, The Moody Blues, and most recently she performed in the house band for the David Foster Miracle Concert, playing with musicians such as Sarah McLaughlin, Kenny G, Josh Groban, Ruben Studdard, and The Canadian Tenors.