George Jackson, musician and arts worker; born June 9, 1954, died July 8, 191998

It seems entirely appropriate that, in the weeks leading up to his sudden death, George Jackson had been giving Glasgow's rock'n'roll Councillor Frank McAveety guitar lessons.

Because George was always passing on his enthusiasm for music, whether through sharing the finer points of a tune in a pub session, teaching traditional music on his community outreach courses on Glasgow's southside, or just jawing about something or someone he'd heard recently over a pint in Babbity Bowster.

The first time I met George he was, in the course of his show, playing mandolin, banjo, guitar, and fiddle, among other things, in the electric folk band Contraband, with his brother, Billy, singer Mae McKenna, fiddler John Martin, guitarist Peter Cairney, and drummer Alec Baird.

Heavily influenced by Fairport Convention, they toured the campuses and folk clubs of Scotland to frenzied jigging before being lured to London in 1975 by Transatlantic Records, who promptly tried to mould them into a ''female singer plus backing band''. After about a year, George, Billy, and John Martin returned to Scotland with an entirely different musical direction.

With Billy trading his bass guitar for harp, uillean pipes and whistle, and singer/guitarist Billy Ross enlisted, they unveiled Ossian, whose acoustic settings of traditional Scots, Gaelic, and Irish songs and tunes became the benchmark for quality on the Scottish, and indeed the worldwide folk scene.

While all around them were playing fast as fury, Ossian were calmness personified. For 10 years they toured widely. They also provided the music for several theatre productions, including Clanna Chleo, which was based on the legend of Rob Roy, and formed their own record label, Iona Records, which as well as their own splendid albums, including St Kilda Wedding, released George's album with Gaelic singer Maggie MacInnes, Cairistiona.

When outside commitments brought Ossian to a close, George continued to play music by working with Tag Theatre Company and on Billy's Wellpark Suite. He also opened the Iona Records shop in Stockwell Street, became involved, briefly, in magazine publishing, then moved into community arts development work, organising classes and workshops.

In 1996, he joined Glasgow City Council's Performing Arts division, where his projects included the Songs of the People concerts, featuring singers Mick West and Alistair Hulett, which marked the STUC's Centenary at Tramway last November and earned a rep rise during Glasgow's Maydaze weekend.

Earlier this year, when Contraband's album and the first Ossian album were reissued on CD, George was quietly chuffed that they'd both worn better than expected. But probably his proudest moment came in January when the original Ossian, augmented by assorted interim members, reunited at Celtic Connections. The concert was a triumph but that it now constitutes George's final bow, performance-wise, is very hard to bear.