A resident of the Washington area since 1953, Keter Betts is a world-renowned bassist, having toured for over 25 years with Ella Fitzgerald. In addition to Fitzgerald, he has toured with such artists as Dinah Washington, Benny Goodman, Charlie Byrd, Joe Williams, and Louie Bellson. Throughout this span, Betts has always found time to serve the Washington community with his talent and can frequently be found playing the host bassist to popular jazz artists performing at local venues. For the past 25 years, his time and energies have been devoted to various Washington-area educational programs such as Prince Georges County Arts Alive and Fairfax County’s CAPS program. Since 1981, he has conducted musical performances for Wolf Trap’s Headstart program as well as Washington Performing Arts Society’s school programs. These concerts are designed to enlighten and expose youngsters to jazz music. Keter has conducted workshops at the Duke Ellington School of Arts, taught at Howard University, and regularly gives lessons to area musicians.


Quentin Maurice Davidson, Sr., is best known as the founder and drummer of Rare Essence, one of Washington’s most successful Go-Go bands. Professionally known as Footz, he developed Rare Essence from a southeast Washington neighborhood band into a precision group that drew large crowds to Go-Go festivals at USAir Arena and countless other national and local venues. Footz, who recognized Rick Wellman, drummer for Chuck Brown and Miles Davis, as his idol drew his own admirers because of his hard, heavy style and precision timing. Switching positions without missing a beat, Footz and Mickey Freeman swapped places on the drummer’s throne, making the exchange part of Rare Essence’s unique style. But beyond being an entertainer of high repute, Quentin Davidson was regarded as a good son and a caring father. He is described as reserved, happy, and sensitive. A man who set an example as a good parent guiding his six children’s education and their day to day lives. His mother said, “He gave the best that he could of himself. Footz was like a breath of spring, to know him was to love him.”


Content courtesy of Washington Area Music Association.