Jack Hogsden is an English folk musician finding traditional songs, ballads and tunes from rare and popular manuscript collections and archives alike. His songs are a snapshot in history; the tales of war, love, betrayal, rurality and everything in-between. His captivating storytelling is brought to life through the additions of complex, percussive, yet sympathetic finger style guitar arrangements and the classic driving mandolin tones, both of which has been continued through his family's heritage and are highly-regarded and respected across the British Isles and North America. Alongside the songs, Jack Hogsden is regarded as one of the most influential melodeon players of his generation, with an extensive knowledge of English Morris traditions and the manipulation of traditional music, as well as his skills as a composer. With over a decade of performance experience, Jack has showcased his music at the Sage Gateshead, 10 Downing Street, Sidmouth Folk Week, Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections, and performed on bills alongside (or sometimes with) Oysterband, Eliza Carthy, Lady Maisery, Simon Care, Saul Rose, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Jackie Oates, and many more.
Jack Hogsden started his career in the small historic county town of Lewes, East Sussex. Growing up in this heritage-rich location with a dense and detailed history of traditional music and song, as well as with the influence of being surrounded by his family's singing tradition, Jack began to explore the music of the South Downs and the stories of the singers (The Copper Family, Harry Cox, Ron Spicer). Early experiences of crucial traditional events such as the Sussex All-Day Singaround (The Ram, Firle, East Sussex) and Mummers Plays (Steyning, West Sussex), as well as the incredible support from the Lewes Saturday Folk Club (The Elephant & Castle, Lewes, East Sussex), helped Jack to explore the historical and cultural importance of these rural customs, and explore the songs and music associated with them. In 2016, Jack went to join Ditchling Morris, alongside his mother (Becky) and father (Leon), who are both still heavily involved in the side. Originally a dancer (with an impressive competition record in Irish Dance), Jack soon acquired a vintage Hohner Erica DG melodeon from musician Brian London, who, alongside lead musicians Julian Burton and John Bacon, took Jack under their wing and taught him how to emphasise and accompany traditional dance. When Leon joined the side (who had already gained an impressive portfolio of traditional performance) as a guitarist, Jack and Leon were compared to Martin Carthy & John Kirkpatrick, and they injected rhythm, reggae, and some rambunctious behaviour for good measure.
Folk club bookings began to follow, and soon they were performing together for Ditchling Morris at Chippenham Folk Festival, and pivotally, Sidmouth Folk Week. After much encouragement from the EFDSS Gold Badge receiver John Bacon, Jack and Leon entered the Sidmouth Jig Competition, where they were awarded Best New Entrant and 3rd overall. Here they met Saul Rose, who Jack later gained a strong musical link with. It was also here that Jack joined Customs & Exiles, a North-West Morris group based in Wokingham, and where he played alongside Jim Sawyer (Jimbo) and Derek Tarrant (Derek the Nutter), who have both been supportive and encouraging of Jack and his playing. In parallel to this, Jack formed a connection with BBC Folk Award winner Jackie Oates, and was invited to perform with her, O' Hooley &Tidow and Lady Maisery at the infamous Nettlebed Folk Club (Oxfordshire), where Jack began to work on the larger stages of folk music.
In 2018, Jack decided to embark his academic research into the musics of the British Isles, and began studying his degree in Folk & Traditional Music (BA Hons). Through his time at university, Jack was tutored by Catriona Macdonald, Kathryn Tickell, James Fagan, Nancy Kerr, Saul Rose, Julian Sutton, Emily Portman, Rachel Newton, Dave Gray, and numerous other critically acclaimed musicians. Here he gained performance experience at the Sage Gateshead, The Bridge Folk Club, and Anarchy Brew Co., and he began his career in online melodeon tutoring. During his first year at university, Jack was invited to perform at Celtic Connections, and with many performances in-between, as well as studying the art of audio recording, mixing, and mastering, Jack was invited in his final year to perform at 10 Downing Street, making him the first musician to ever perform on the doorstep of English Parliament.
On the completion of his degree, Jack decided to stay in the North-East of England, and released his debut EP, "A Borrowed Box", utilising a loaned Castagnari Mory DG from Dave Gray. It has received radio play and is available through his self-founded label Millpost Records. Jack also began to venture into the world of live sound, and started his career as a technician and sound engineer at the Sage Gateshead, where he has worked on some of the biggest folk concerts including Transatlantic Sessions in the world famous Sage One.
In the Autumn of 2023, Jack found himself drawn back to his native county of Sussex, and after a brief visit, found himself back in Newcastle packing his belongings in preparation for his next move. Now that Jack is back in the South-East, he is working as a sound engineer for the world-renowned Glyndebourne Opera House, and as a freelance live sound engineer across the city of Brighton. Still rehearsing and arranging the traditional songs and tunes, having had his passion for the Sussex traditions reinvigorated, Jack is back playing for Ditchling Morris, performing with Ditchling Mummers, and working hard on cataloguing traditional works. Jack is also still actively mixing and mastering for himself and other musicians, and is working on his first full length album.