Betty “Be-Bop” Carter (Born: May 16, 1929 – Reborn: September 26, 1998) was an American jazz icon who was renowned for her improvisational technique and idiosyncratic vocal style. Carmen McRae once claimed that “there’s really only one jazz singer – only one: Betty Carter.”

Carter was born Lillie Mae Jones in Flint, Michigan and grew up in Detroit, where her father led a church choir. She studied piano at the Detroit Conservatory. She won a talent contest and became a regular on the local club circuit, singing and playing piano. When she was 16, she sang with Charlie Parker, and she later performed with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis.

I had the pleasure of meeting Betty in her friend’s apartment in Detroit.. I presented her an original portrait of herself that she was fond of. That was a very happy moment in my life.

18×24 Primacolor Pencil on Off-white Archival Paper.

All photographs and artworks in this portfolio are copyrighted and owned by the artist, Charles Ezra Ferrell.. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from myself is prohibited. All rights reserved.


african, betty, black, carter, charles, ferrell, jazz, pencil


  • alykat
    alykatover 6 years ago

    excellent work :)

  • Deidre Cripwell
    Deidre Cripwellover 6 years ago

    Love it.

  • Jean M. Laffitau
    Jean M. Laffitauover 6 years ago

    How powerful!!! GREAT work!

  • neogolas
    neogolasover 6 years ago

    Gorgeous Charles,nice touch.

  • Tara Johnson
    Tara Johnsonabout 6 years ago

    I love the emotion that comes out of this! Music is very strong and something that people can feel and relate to. I like how much that comes across here. Well done!!!

  • cherokee
    cherokeeabout 6 years ago

    This is so full of life.

    KEITH R. WILL...about 6 years ago

    sweet betty

  • Lovesmusic
    Lovesmusicabout 6 years ago

    Love this!

  • Damien Venditti
    Damien Vendittiabout 6 years ago

    i love this Charles …. great work … what a great moment to meet her and give her a portrait : )

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