After a visit to see the Highworth Jack-in-the-Green, Company of The Green Man member Garry Judd was inspired to write an orchestral suite. About one hundred and eighty years ago, Garry’s Great Great Great Grandad James left Highworth to try his luck in the City Of London. Unfortunately, he soon found out that the streets weren’t paved with gold, but went on to begin the line of North London Judds. Garry had always wanted to see a Jack-in-the-Green parade and so when the opportunity to see the Highworth Jack-in-the-Green came up it was an opportunity he couldn’t miss.
Highworth in Wiltshire celebrated it’s 800th anniversary with a Jack in the Green on 22nd April 2006 and the Jack is now an annual tradition as part of an annual May Market. Jack is accompanied by the wonderful Bang To Rites Drummers.
Garry is a composer who works in film, TV, radio, other media as well as concert music which has been premiered at the Wigmore Hall and featured on BBC Radio 3 and ClassicFM. His music has been played by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Courtney Pine, Leslie Howard, Finn Peters, Guy Pratt, John Etheridge and The London Community Gospel Choir to name but a few. He has written for over 150 film, television, radio and other media productions and is broadcast regularly throughout the world.
The Company of the Green Man has always supported and where possible promoted artists who have been inspired by The Jack-in-the-Green or the Green Man. It’s wonderful to add an orchestral suite to the list of music the traditional Jack-in-the-Green has inspired over the years. Other musicians inspired by the Jack include Jethro Tull who recorded a song called “Jack-in-the-Green” for their 1977 album Songs from the Wood. Jools Holland wrote a track called “Jack O The Green” with Suggs of Madness after Suggs saw the Jack in the Green at Whitstable. Northamptonshire folk band Empty Pocket included “Jack in the Green” by Paul Rogers in their 1995 album of the same name. Oxford folk band Magpie Lane’s fourth CD, Jack-in-the-Green (1998), includes a song of the same name, written by Martin Graebe.