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This biopic on jazz master bassist Keter Betts keeps his musical legacy alive, celebrates his 60-year career & contributions in music. Read more

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This project's funding goal was not reached on August 5, 2012.

This biopic on jazz master bassist Keter Betts keeps his musical legacy alive, celebrates his 60-year career & contributions in music.

About this project

Completion funds are needed to produce "Keter Betts: Musical Disciple, a feature length documentary that will chronicle the 60-year musical journey of legendary jazz bassist, William “Keter” Betts. Born in Port Chester, NY, Keter at a very young age heeded the call to be a musician. He affectionately described himself as a musical Disciple called by God to make a joyful noise through a timeless form of American’s classical music we call Jazz. Overcoming the many barriers in society such as segregation, and racism; the healing power of music always saw him through. 

An internationally renowned bassist, Keter has performed and recorded on over 100 recordings. He has played and recorded with: Earl Bostic, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Tommy Flanagan and Dick Morgan to name a few. He served as Bassist for Ella Fitzgerald for 24 years, and was part of Dinah Washington’s first trio. A Maryland resident for over 40 years, he designed educational music programs for young adults. As an educator, he was affiliated with Howard University, Duke Ellington High School for the Arts, the Wolf Trap's Head Start Program, the Washington Performing Arts Society's Concerts in Schools and the Prince George's County's Arts Alive Program.

The Bass fiddle (personified), his life-long companion, is the instrument/ character that will narrate the documentary. She sets the tone for the ‘cord changes’ of the various seasons of Keter’s fulfilling life journey which unexpectantly ended in the Fall of 2005.                      


Funds will be used to WRITE an ORIGINAL SCRIPT; hire a RESEARCHER to COLLECT STOCK FOOTAGE & PHOTOGRAPHS; pay for MUSIC & VIDEO FOOTAGE CLEARANCES, and EDITING. Producing a film is an expensive endeavor. A minimum of $20K will assist us with accomplishing these tasks and move this project forward. As an independent filmmaker, producer/ director Ada Babino is adept in creating quality productions on shoe-string budgets. She has collected ten years of footage on Keter Betts through performances and interviews with him, family, friends, musicians, and jazz fans. This project will expose, educate and entertain diverse audiences to a consummate musician and musical legend who has helped create universal music that soothes the soul and heals the spirit.

Photograph by Marvin Joseph-Washington Post. (Article by Richard Harrington, Aug. 9, 2005)
Photograph by Marvin Joseph-Washington Post. (Article by Richard Harrington, Aug. 9, 2005)

Your Kickstarter support for this biopic is critical to PRESERVE THE LEGACY OF A JAZZ MASTER through the medium of film; DOCUMENT a slice of JAZZ HISTORY and hear the STORIES from an important MUSIC ICON. Keter has touched so many people's lives. You now have the opportunity give back to him posthumous. Your contribution is empowering! It allows the image, music and life of Keter's to live on for generations to come. The goal is to have Keter Betts: Musical Disciple completed and ready to premiere with a jazz jam session in commeration of his 85th birthday on July 22, 2013. This documentary will also be entered in film festivals, distributed to educational institutions and proposed to public television and/or cable television.


Kickstarter is one of the largest funding platforms for creative projects in the world. The way it works is that we have to meet our funding goal before the campaign expires – or we don’t get anything. So 30 days to fund this project on-line is extremely critical. 

This documentary can only be finished with your kind assistance. You are as much a part of its creation as we are. The more people who participate, the more ability we will have to get Keter’s story out to as many people as possible.

So, please help by donating and spreading the word to others. Share this link,“Like” us on Facebook, Twitter it, include our campaign in your newsletters, and email this Kickstarter link:

to your friends, family, jazz supporters, musicians, co-workers, fellow fans and anyone else that is in support of joining together in this community effort to make a film we can all be proud of that celebrates Keter Betts. We need 30 days of Keter Kickstarter outreach with a vengeance!

Feel free to email the co-producers, Ada or Baiyina to ask us questions, get more information, and become involved in the making of "Keter Betts: Musical Disciple." Email: Check out our website: You can also find more information about Keter at: or listen to music on the Betts My Space page Follow our updates on Twitter at @JezebelFilmWks.

As a community united, we can make this film a reality!  Thank you all in advance for your kind assistance and support of jazz.


*Note our off-line back up Plan:    

Once the 30 days on-line fundraiser is complete on August 5th, -or- if by chance our Kickstarter on-line goal is not reached in 30 days there is an off-line option for funding to continue. This project’s fiscal sponsor is — Women In Film & Video (DC Chapter). To contribute to the documentary, “Keter Betts: Musical Disciple,” Charitable donations can be also be made out to our Fiscal Sponsor, Women In Film & Video, WIFV by clicking on: -or- mailing the donation to: Women in Film & Video. 3628 12th Street NW, Washington, DC 20017. Attn: Melissa   *Please indicate: Keter Betts project by Ada Babino in memo line of your check.



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  • You selected
    $10 reward

    9 backers

    A THANK YOU and mention on our website.

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    $20 reward

    13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)

    A photograph of Keter Betts and his bass in Washington, DC by photographer Teri Gentry of WLG Photography.

    A THANK YOU and mention on our website

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  • You selected
    $50 reward

    7 backers Limited (13 left of 20)

    A complimentary CD of one of Keter Bett's jazz protégés or fellow musicians who actually performed with this Jazz Master.

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    $100 reward

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    A Keter Betts CD and an End Film Credit

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    $250 reward

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    A complimentary pair of tickets to Blues Alley in Washington, DC and an end film credit.

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    $500 reward

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    Smithsonian Jazz Box-Set Jazz CD and highlighted End Film Credit

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    $1,000 reward

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    A Front film credit, a ticket to the new Howard Theater, where Keter 1st played as a teenager on the chitlin' circuit, and a VIP invite to the film premiere in DC/MD or VA.

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    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    An Executive Producer front film Credit, a DVD of the director, Ada M. Babino's docu-drama "Middle Passage -N- Roots," a finished DVD of "Keter Betts: Musical Disciple," a listing in the program and VIP invite for you and 3 guests, to the film premiere/jam session held in DC/MD or VA.

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Funding period

- (30 days)