Dixieland jazz musician;

Born: August 4, 1936; Died: May 7, 2013.

Dave Wilson, who has died of lung cancer at the age of 76, was a Dixieland jazz musician, self-taught banjo, guitar and piano player, tuner and restorer; and a much-loved character in the West End of Glasgow..

As a banjo player and guitarist, he was known for his rock solid timing, quirky vocal style and his stylish leadership. He shared the bill with Kenny Ball's Jazz Band, Aker Bilk and the Paramount Jazz Band, Bob Wallace and the Storyville Jazz Band, Diz Dizzley, and Sandy Brown. Audiences came as much for his entertaining banter as for the music itself. He could play for hours without repeating numbers and he had no trouble getting a room-full of people singing. He could make the most run-down pianos sound like they were brand new.

After gigging with Dixieland jazz bands around Glasgow, he joined George Ogilvie's band, performing at festivals in Scotland and Holland, before starting to teach himself the piano. By his late 40s he was performing as a lounge pianist across Glasgow. Eventually establishing his own band The Uptown Shufflers, he held numerous residencies, playing annually at the popular Riverboat Shuffle at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival.

It wasn't just the older crowds that enjoyed the band's sound; in 2001 they was approached by Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian to play on their single I Love My Car from their EP I'm Walking Up To Us. This led to supporting Belle and Sebastian on their 2001 Scottish tour. They also featured on the track The Cat's Pyjamas from Isobel Campbell's 2003 album Amorino, and Nick Cook's 2011 album Down at the Zoo which hit the number one spot on the iTunes children's chart.

He crossed paths with Belle and Sebastian again when they filmed the music video for their single Jonathan David in his home. He made such an impression on the production crew that they took a series of eccentric photos of him playing various instruments and featured them in the video. Dave also appeared as a lounge pianist in Victoria Wood's Great Railway Journeys. He featured in the BBC Radio documentary Up to High Doe and made a cameo appearance (alongside other members of his band) on the BBC Television show Dear Green Place, playing a brusque band leader who auditions Henderson who wants to join his band. Most recently he started a residency at Laurie's Bar in King St in Glasgow (now Avant Garde), continuing there right up to the end.

Dave was also, according to his neighbour, the broadcaster Colin MacKay, the quintessential Glaswegian west ender, knowledgeable about the area, its history and its people, and renowned for his strong persona and banter. He was certainly never stuck for material to create his tales, whether these were of the early years when he was an engine fitter at Yarrow Shipyards, of his service in the Military Police, or of the many people he brushed shoulders with as a musician and piano tuner, they were delivered with style, wit and precision.

He lived in one of the few remaining whole terrace houses in his west end street. He made his home available as a set for pop videos, films, and TV programmes including Taggart, Murder Rooms, Finny, The Life of Peter Pan', and Every Picture Tells a Story, in which he appeared as an extra. He brushed shoulders with many actors, including Robbie Coltrane, who was his lodger.

He also hosted numerous musical parties at his home, often involving taking one of his pianos into the communal gardens. He was spoiled for choice, as over the years he had housed straight strung and over strung uprights, baby and boudoir grands, square pianos, Art Deco drop-action pianos, yacht pianos, plastic pianos, electric pianos, pianolas, harmoniums, and organs. In the early morning his children would often awaken from their dreams to the sound of floating open fifths, as he tuned one of them.

He was born and raised in the west end of Glasgow with siblings Joyce, Valerie and Brian. He held his first banjo at the age of 13, at a time when Glasgow was awash with dance venues. This first banjo had been gifted by his Uncle Fred, blinded and invalided in the first world war, and who lived with his sister Doris, helping in Josephine Smith's theatrical costume business, located in basement premises in Holland Street, and supplying Glasgow's theatres and Cunard's fancy dress balls. Unable to read a note of music, Dave mastered the instrument with no instruction, before going on to do the same with squeezebox, guitar and piano.

He was destined to enter his father's business as a shipping engineer's agent on leaving Glasgow Academy. But the business collapsed, followed by his father's attempted suicide by drowning in the Clyde in 1949, and his mother Rena's subsequent nervous breakdown. His father's death six years later left the family destitute and reliant on National Assistance. To support the family, David left Glasgow Academy aged 14 to begin his apprenticeship at Yarrows, before being called into national service and taking the Military Police option to earn an extra pound per week so as to send more money home.

Dave was stoical, but learned to take refuge in his music. His middle years found him in the motor trade (winning Volvo UK salesman of the year), while building his musical career and, with his wife Mary, raising his three children. He soon worked out how to transfer his car-selling skills to buying and selling pianos, once taking a call from a double-glazing saleswoman and selling her a piano.

His marriage to Mary was dissolved in 1986. In 1987 he married Susan. This marriage was dissolved in 1989.

Dave was an independent thinker. He readily rooted out pretension, and could be candid to a fault. He remembered everything he learned about people, including their contradictions; sometimes feeding these back to them to their astonishment and cost. Yet this earned him a degree of reverence, alongside the affection born of his wit and generosity.

He regularly volunteered to play to the elderly in residential homes, drawing on all the old favourites from the 1920s and 30s. He gifted money to family and friends in hardship, insisted on rescuing a fellow musician's clarinet out of the pawnshop, and inspired young people to learn instruments, many of whom went on to make music their lives, including piano tuning.

He was not ready to go – he had just bought a new guitar – but he died in his own home as he had wished. His children inherited his musical talents: Ruth as a jazz singer, Max as a composer and Lawrence as a pianist. He will be remembered for his warmth and vitality, his strong and esoteric personality and the way in which he reached out to people from all walks in life. He is survived by his three children, his brother Brian, his sisters Joyce and Valerie, and by Mary and Susan.