For nearly 60 years, Betty Baxter has entertained audiences all over Michigan, Philly and L.A. with her satiny voice, and has performed with the likes of Pat Boone, Leroy Vinnegar, Sandy Izenson, Fred Mitchell Jr., Jeff Kressler, Ed Fedewa, Jeff Hall, Fred Knapp, Eddie Russ, Kurt Krahnke, Mike Daniels, and Pete Siers.
“Betty is well known in central Michigan having performed at the Lansing Old Town Jazz Festival, the Michigan Festival, Lansing Riverfest, MSU ‘Jazz at the Museum’, and their annual Chocolate Party, the Lansing Downtown Arts Festival, the YWCA Diana Awards Banquet. She has also performed at BoarsHead Theater, the RE Olds Museum, the Michigan Theater, the Southview Concert Series, the Michigan Historical Museum, and the Lansing Art Gallery.
In 1987, Betty sang at the Sesquicentennial Ball at the Michigan State Capitol, for which she undertook extensive research into popular songs written by Michigan composers. This research turned into six different programs which she has performed extensively around the state. Since 1995, she had been active in Lansing Matinee Musicale, presenting jazz programs, as well as study clubs about Michigan composers of popular songs and jazz, featuring among others the work of Isham Jones (born in Ohio, grew up in Saginaw). In 2008, during the presidential campaign, she dipped once again into American popular music history and presented a program of political satire in song for Lansing Matinee Musicale.
Betty is a self-taught pianist and a life-long music student—studying at Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Camp and at Lansing Community College in a New and Experimental Music course.
Betty Baxter’s life is music—or, her music is her life. As a performer she is engaging; her personal style is infectious; and her musicianship is impeccable. Betty and Margaret Whiting would have gotten along famously; Betty and Jo Stafford could have sung silky smooth duets; and Bobby Short would have loved her. ”
(bio excerpt by Prof. Jerry Mattson)