Keter Betts

Keter Betts

born on 25/5/1928 in Port Chester, NY, United States

died on 6/8/2005 in Silver Spring, MD, United States

Keter Betts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Keter Betts

Keter Betts (July 22, 1928 August 6, 2005) was an American jazz double bassist. Born William Thomas Betts in Port Chester, New York, he was nicknamed "Keter", a short form of the word mosquito.[1]


Many better-known musicians (Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Nat Adderley, Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd and others), recognizing Keter's talent, invited him to perform with them professionally. Early in Keter's career he had played with Earl Bostic's R&B band. In 1962, together with Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, he was instrumental in introducing the bossa nova style to American audiences via their Jazz Samba recording.[2] In the mid-1960s, Keter began a nearly quarter-century relationship as a bassist with Ella Fitzgerald.[1]

Personal life

A widowed father of five children,[2] Betts resided in the Washington, DC, area for more than a half century. He died at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland, in August 2005.[1]

Selected discography

  • The Floating Jazz Festival Trio (1995)

With Clifford Brown

With Charlie Byrd

  • Blues for Night People (1957)
  • Byrd's Word! (Riverside, 1958)
  • Byrd in the Wind (Riverside, 1959)
  • Mr. Guitar (Riverside, 1960)
  • The Guitar Artistry of Charlie Byrd (Riverside, 1960)
  • Charlie Byrd at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961)
  • Blues Sonata (Riverside, 1961)
  • Jazz Samba (Verve, 1962) - with Stan Getz
  • Latin Impressions (Riverside, 1962)
  • Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros (Riverside, 1962)
  • Once More! Charlie Byrd's Bossa Nova (Riverside, 1963)
  • Byrd at the Gate (Riverside, 1963)
  • Byrd Song (Riverside, 1964)

With Ella Fitzgerald

  • Ella in Hamburg (Verve, live, 1965)
  • Ella Loves Cole (Atlantic, 1972)
  • Ella in London (Pablo, live, 1974)
  • Montreux '75 (Pablo, live, 1975)
  • Montreux '77 (Ella Fitzgerald album) (Pablo, live, 1977)
  • Digital III at Montreux (Pablo, live, 1979)
  • A Perfect Match (Ella Fitzgerald album) (Pablo, 1979)
  • Jazz at the Philharmonic Yoyogi National Stadium, Tokyo 1983: Return to Happiness (Pablo, live, 1983)

With Tommy Flanagan

  • The Tommy Flanagan Tokyo Recital (Pablo, 1975)
  • Something Borrowed, Something Blue (1978)

With Sam Jones

  • The Soul Society (Riverside, 1960)
  • The Chant (Riverside, 1961)

With Junior Mance

  • Blue Mance (1994)

With Bobby Timmons

  • Chun-King (Prestige, 1964)
  • Workin' Out! (Prestige, 1964)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jazz Bassist Keter Betts Dies at 77, Washington Post, August 8, 2005. URL accessed on January 18, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Keter Betts, 77, Jazz Bassist Who Spread the Bossa Nova, Is Dead, The New York Times, August 22, 2005. URL accessed on January 18, 2011.

External links

  • Keter Betts's oral history video excerpts at The National Visionary Leadership Project
  • Keter Betts playing Blue Bossa behind Tommy Flanagan.
This page was last modified 14.03.2013 13:03:44

This article uses material from the article Keter Betts from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.