Keter Betts played a hand in one of the most influential Bossa Albums

Though he will always be known mainly as a Jazz player, American double bassist Keter Betts (born William Thomas Betts) was a key player in the spread of bossa nova in America during the 1960s.

Keter Betts

Keter Betts

His partnership with Charlie Bryd was musically fruitful spawning  a plethora of amazing albums, 13 in total. In the context of bossa, the pair produced “Latin Impressions,” “Bossa Nova Pelos Passaros,”  “Once More! Charlie Byrd’s Bossa Nova” and the legendary “Jazz Samba” with Stan Getz which essentially launched bossa nova to stardom in North America . It was an incredible run with all these albums being released in a year and a half during the early 1960s (62 and 63  to be exact).


Jazz Samba + bossa nova

Jazz Samba


Keter went on to have another great chapter in his career with the singer Ella Fitzgerald, lasting for almost 25 years. Betts was also an advocate for musical education , hosting lectures, workshops and even teaching at Howard University in Washington DC. Though Betts died in 2005 at the age of 77 we remember and appreciate his contribution to Bossa Nova, Jazz and to music and its education as a whole.

Here is Keter performing with Tony Flanagan ,”Blue Bossa”