16 year old Bella Betts is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist committed to making change through music. She loves performing live and collaborating with other artists. Bella has joined Chris Thile, Langhorne Slim, Aoife O’Donovan, David Grisman, Sarah Jarosz, Sierra Hull and others on stage multiple times. Bella plays a unique mix of folk, classical, jazz, and contemporary music. In 2012, she released her first CD, Lights Around A Curve, produced by Steve Szymanski (co-founder of Planet Bluegrass).
A Colorado native currently living in Boulder, Bella’s unique approach to schooling has allowed her to pursue what she loves from an early age. Homeschooled for most of her life, she began piano, voice and guitar at age five and mandolin at age eight. She currently focuses on guitar, voice, mandolin, and songwriting. In addition to homeschooling, she is taking classes at University of Colorado Boulder with plans to attend music school. Bella is very fortunate to have many incredible mentors supporting her, including Ron Browning, Art Lande, Chris Acquavella, Amy Speace, Sandy Munro, and Chris Thile. Says Szymanski, [Bella is] “remarkably focused and mature.”
Music camps and festivals, and the community found there, have played an important role in Bella’s musical life. Bella attended The Mandolin Symposium and Rockygrass Academy and festival for many years where she played two tweeners on the main stage. In 2015, Bella, at 14 years old, became the youngest member to attend the Acoustic Music Seminar. The Acoustic Music Seminar, run by Mike Marshall, is a program for 16 of the best acoustic string players in the world under 22. Most recently she attended Berklee School of Music’s Five-Week summer program on a merit based scholarship and performed in the competitive, by-audition only Performing Songwriter Showcase run by Melissa Ferrick. Every year for the past five years, Bella has gone to Rocky Mountain Song School and Folks Festival. There, she was accepted into Pat Pattison’s selective songwriting master class and joined Amos Lee on stage in a headlining slot at Folks Festival 2012. “Then Lee introduced Bella Betts to the stage, and in that instant the lives of everyone in attendance changed for the better.” wrote the Huffington Post after that appearance. Bella joined Lee again this year at the Boulder Theater and feels incredibly lucky to have his friendship and mentorship. Says Lee of Bella, “I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty of her. She’s going to be owning this stage. She can probably own it now.” Bella has seen the incredible capacity of music to heal, unify, and create change, both in her own life, and across the world. She loves sharing her music with others.