Jon has become the stand out performer of his generation of traditional folk artists, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of the genre.
Most recognizably he was the lead singer (and one of the principal arrangers) of the multi-award winning Bellowhead, one of the most exciting live acts of recent years. Over 12 years Bellowhead achieved a level of critical and commercial success unmatched by any other band working in English traditional music in the last three decades. In 2015 Jon announced that he had decided to leave the band and on May 1st 2016 Bellowhead played their final gig.
Since 2009 he has also performed with his band The Remnant Kings, performing both traditional folk music and Jon’s own work featured on his second solo album Songs from the Floodplain – a bleak but hopeful view of a post-apocalyptic world, a subject revisited on Afterglow (2017), his first new album after leaving Bellowhead. The Remnant Kings re-formed in July 2017 in an expanded 10 piece line-up to debut Afterglow at Cambridge Folk Festival.
The links between a speculative regressed future and folk music was something further explored in BBC Radio 3’s The Essay. In addition, within the traditional folk scene, he has played in a duo with fellow Bellowhead member John Spiers for over a decade.
Outside of folk he has composed music for both theatre and film, most notably two Royal Shakespeare productions at Stratford: Merchant of Venice (2008) and A Winter’s Tale (2012). In 2013, he was commissioned to compose a version of Little Musgrave to be performed alongside Benjamin Britten’s work of the same name at Aldeburgh. In addition, he performed the Juliet Letters with the Sacconi Quartet at the Bristol Old Vic.
He also appears in Richard Curtis’s film About Time and has contributed music to the score. Autumn 2013 also saw the debut of a new BBC2 comedy series Count Arthur Strong for which Jon composed and performed the signature music.