Dedicated to making music with roots and soul, Jon Fletcher combines a wealth of experience in traditional styles with intelligent songwriting aimed straight at the heart, all of which is brought together in his new album When The Music Ends. Dealing with themes of love, loss, and above all, the power of music, it’s a powerful testimony to a lifetime dedicated to his art.
Jon’s musical life goes back a long way: growing up in a musical family in Reading, he learned to hold a harmony in the back of the (radio-less) family Morris Minor before becoming obsessed with guitar in his teens. Mindful not to let his studies interfere with his education, he spent three years at college busking, perfecting his guitar style, learning banjo, playing in the Surf-Olas, (“York’s premier accordion-led surf instrumental combo”), and (just about) managing to write a dissertation on “Recurrent Themes and Imagery in British Ballads.”
Jon’s musical career began in earnest as a member of roots-pop group Epona (together with siblings Kate & Colin, and fiddler/singer Nancy Kerr). Touring the folk and festival circuit in the UK and Germany ensued and the group’s 1997 album Shine Again. Following years saw Jon relocate to Oxford where he became a central part of the city’s music scene both on- and off-stage: promoting gigs, working for independent label Park Records, teaching, facilitating and mentoring young musicians through the Ark T Youth Music Project, and playing in innumerable lineups in Oxford’s thriving folk and acoustic scene, all the while continuing to develop his own craft as a songwriter and performer.
For the past ten years or so Jon has lent his instrumental and vocal talents to The PowerFolk Quartet, Oxfordshire folk stalwarts Magpie Lane and, more recently Kismet, as well as guest appearances live and on record with other artists. Since 2009 Jon and brother Colin, have run independent production company Starling Audio from their North Oxfordshire studio, and for three years Jon has been a resident writer and producer for Pro7ect‘s annual residential songwriting and production week.
Jon’s solo 2007 album A Month in the Summer won praise as an assured debut with its sophisticated arrangements, covering a musical spectrum from atmospheric folk to swinging jazz and acoustic pop. When The Music Ends brings an added intensity and maturity to this blend of influences, in both the original writing and powerful interpretations of traditional material.
Jon lives in East Oxford with his wife, their 2 children, 2 cats and an ever-growing collection of musical instruments.