“I can sense Betty’s musical pedigree on a cellular level. She is a wonder to behold.”
Don Savage, Senior Producer, Spafax Airline Network
“Bryant’s steady, rolling, soulful musical sprees are always textured with ideal measures of torchy passion, elegantly whimsical good humor and traces of KC’s uncut, communicative blues sensibility.”
Jonny Whiteside, LA Weekly
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Betty Bryant is a revered pianist/singer who brings a solid piano technique, a light, swinging touch and a skilled vocal approach to her music. Whether she is playing the blues on “He May Be Your Man (But He Comes To See Me Sometime)”, or delivering obscure cabaret gems like Mort Lindsey’s humorous “Scratch”, or romping through serious jazz compositions like Bud Powell’s “Parisian Thoroughfare”, Betty always connects with the material and with her audience.
Dubbed “Cool Miss B” by her fellow musicians, Betty’s career started in her hometown of Kansas City, where she was mentored by the great Jay McShann. She moved to the west coast in 1955, where she immediately got an engagement at Beverly Hill’s famed “Ye Little Club”. This was the beginning of mostly solo appearances in Los Angeles. Her reputation grew, and she quickly became a popular attraction in the many little nightspots that used to dot the beach towns from Santa Monica to Laguna.
In 1987 “Betty Bryant Day” was declared in Kansas City, and she was awarded the keys to the city. A famous photograph of Betty with Jay McShann hangs in the lobby of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City.
Betty has performed internationally in the Middle East and Brazil, and for many years was a popular regular attraction at the upscale Tableaux Lounge in Tokyo, Japan. She had a long term engagement at celebrity chef Susan Feniger’s exciting new restaurant “Street” in Hollywood in 2009, and in 2012 she was a featured performer at the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival in Boquete, Panama. The “Betty Bryant Birthday Bash” is a hugely popular annual event in Hollywood, and has been presented at the famed “Catalina’s Jazz Club”.
Betty has released seven critically acclaimed CDs, including 2009’s “No Regrets”, which got airplay on over 100 jazz stations nationwide. Peter Solomon, of station WCVE – FM in Richmond, Virginia wrote, ““This is a sweet little album. I was struck by her laid-back phrasing. Her piano style sounds something like Basie. This woman has soul.” Selections from the album were programmed onto the inflight entertainment channels of seven major airlines worldwide. Christopher Louden, writing in JazzTimes Magazine, calls Betty’s CD “Together” (2011) a “superlative testament to the depth and breadth of her showmanship.” Betty’s 2013 release “iteration +” received the most airplay she has gotten to date and charted on the JazzWeek National charts. Peter Kuller, from Radio Adelaide, Australia says, “Betty Bryant is absolutely amazing and deserves worldwide recognition. A jazz pianist who also sings or a jazz singer who also plays piano, whatever you prefer she does both with great distinction!”
Whether listening to one of Cool Miss B’s CDs at home, or catching her live, perhaps it was best expressed by Judy Jordan in a feature article in Venice Magazine – “Snuggle into a cozy ringside club chair and let Betty Bryant steal your heart….your ears will be tickled, your heart will dance, and your feet may find a will of their own, for Betty Bryant is an enchantress.”