Keter Betts, 1928–2005

Keter Betts, a prolific Washington, D.C. jazz bassist, passed away on August 6.

A widely-respected player and educator, Keter provided deep-end support for the bands of such greats as Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Flanagan, Woody Herman, Joe Pass, Etta Jones, and Dinah Washington. Beginning with a State Department-sponsored goodwill tour to Brazil, Keter also played a key role in the introduction of bossa nova to the United States, along with guitarist Charlie Byrd and saxophonist Stan Getz; Keter’s rich bass lines can be heard ushering in “Desafinado,” and grooving throughout the rest of the legendary Jazz Samba [Verve] album.