John Betsch was born on October 8, 1945 in Jacksonville, Florida. His mother was a church organist and pianist; his older sister a dramatic soprano singer.
John began playing drums in the school orchestra at the age of nine. At age 18, while still student at Fisk University (Nashville, Tenn.), he began playing professionally with pianist Bob Holmes, Ernest Vantrease and trumpeter Louis Smith. John studied at the Berklee School of Music in Boston and the University of Massachussetts Amherst under Max Roach and Archie Shepp. He has taught at UMASS and in the state prison education programs. In 1975 he moved to New York City where he played with Roland Alexander, Dewey Redman, the Paul Jeffrey octet; vocalists Jeanne Lee, Abbey Lincoln, and the Ted Daniel big band. He toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Africa, notably with Max Roach (Newport 1974), Dewey Redman (1979), Kalaparusha (Berliner Jazztage 1976), Abdullah Ibrahim (1979), the Klaus Konig Orchestra and Steve Lacy.
Since moving to Europe in 1985, where he is now based, John has participated in recordings and tours with saxophonists Mike Ellis, Hal Singer and Jim Pepper; vocalists Ozay and Annette Lowman; pianists Mal Waldron, Alain Jean-Marie, Claudine François and Kirk Lightsey. He has toured Japan with Steve Lacy, Mal Waldron, Eric Watson and Michel Sardaby.
John Betsch is currently working with Steve Lacy, Jeanne Lee and Alain Jean-Marie.
|The Fire Within||Billy Bang||Soul Note|
|Earth Blossom||John Betsch Society||Strata East|
|The Journey||Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim)||Chiascuro|
|Africa Tears & Laughter||Enja|
|Red, White, Black & Blue||Enja|
|Live in Berlin||Marilyn Crispell||Soul Note|
|What Else is New?||Mike Ellis||Pan|
|Lazy Afternoon||Alain Jean-Marie||Shäi|
|Times of Devastation||Kalus Konig||Enja|
|Anthem||Steve Lacy||RCA Novus|
|The Rent||Cavity Search|
|Inside Lookin' Out||Simon Nabatov||Tutu|
|The Path||Jim Pepper||Tutu|
|I Was Just||Elvira Plenar||Freeform|
|I Know About the Life||Archie Shepp||Sackville|
|My Man||Blue Marge|
|When Was That||Henry Threadgill||About Time|
|Just the Facts and Pass the Bucket||About Time|
|Subject to Change||About Time|
|No More Tears||Mal Waldron||Alfa Jazz|
|Spring in Prague||Alfa Jazz|
|Mal, Dance & Soul||Tutu|
|Live at Utopia Vol. I & II||Tutu|
John Betsch c/o Senators (firstname.lastname@example.org)