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Wandin expat Jane Kitto hasWandin expat Jane Kitto has

TWO dollar a week guitar lessons with local orchardist Ken Gaudion really paid off for former Wandin girl Jane Kitto.
Now based in Sweden and known simply as ‘Kitto’, she remembers those guitar lessons as the highlight of week during her childhood.
“I couldn’t wait till the next week. While learning the guitar, I used to compensate for what I couldn’t play by singing instead … so it was always an eventful lesson … poor Ken!” Kitto said last week as she prepared to return to Australia for a tour which will see her play locally at Ruby’s Lounge in Belgrave and at St Andrews Hotel as well as in Melbourne, country Victoria and the Northern Territory.
For a girl who says moving on to Lilydale High from Wandin Yallock Primary School was an eye-opener for a “naive kid” who passed the time singing under pine trees, life as a singer who has toured 33 countries and is billed as “the epitome of indie” and “… a hell of a singer”, must at times seem a little surreal.
Highlights of her career include sharing the bill with Megadeath at the Midtfyn Festival in Denmark and becoming the first Aussie to rock the boards in the ex-Soviet country of Belarus.
Weeks later she played at a base at the North Pole.
“For me, it’s about as Everest or as Dick Smith as I’ll ever get,” she said of the experience.
She recently toured through the UK and Sweden with Big Brother and The Holding Co, Janis Joplin’s original band, fronting the lead vocals on the Joplin songs and featured at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
It’s a long way from Wandin North and the sound of magpies in the mornings, picking cherries and the smell of the earth after a hard rain which Kitto said count among the many rich memories she has of growing up in the Yarra Valley.
“After travelling around the world and so many countries with music as a life companion I can say the Yarra Valley is one of the greatest most peaceful sanctuaries ever,” she said.
Kitto will be at St Andrew’s Hotel on 16 December and at Ruby’s Lounge in Belgrave on 20 December.