(b Glasgow, 3 Nov 1943). Scottish guitarist and singer-songwriter. Jansch developed his own acoustic guitar style, mixing elements from folk, blues and jazz. His first-known recordings, made secretly by a fan, were released on the Ace label in 1999 under the title Young Man Blues and included covers of songs by Charles Mingus and Big Bill Broonzy as well as his own compositions. Jansch played on the folk circuit and in the mid-1960s moved to London where he had become a leader of the local folk scene.
His first album, Bert Jansch (1965), was a show-case for his intricate folk-baroque guitar style and own songs, including the anti-drug ballad ‘Needle of Death’. Further solo albums included Jack Orion (1966) which showed his growing interest in British folksong.
In 1967 Jansch joined the band Pentangle, which also included guitarist John Renbourn, and enjoyed success on the international concert circuit; the group split up in 1972 but re-formed briefly in the early 1980s. Jansch returned to a solo career, recording a series of albums that included the country-flavoured L.A. Turnaround (1974) and Santa Barbara Honeymoon (1975). His later album Toy Balloon (1998) showed that he had lost none of his early skill.