The jazz great: that Romantic ideal of booze, heroin, and one-nighters; of dark nights, weeks, even months of the soul; of the demanding, contentious relationship with talent. But what of the un-Bird-like jazz journeyman? The story of Keter Betts (the long marriage, the five children, the fact that he’s still alive and kicking at 75) might not lend itself to stylized, self-conscious documentaries. But the man has nonetheless performed an invaluable service as one of the many dutiful older brothers of jazz, keeping the music upright and functioning for most of its young life. Not that Betts, who settled in D.C. in the mid-’50s, hasn’t had his share of poetry: He was, after all, Ella Fitzgerald’s bassist for 24 years, and he performed and recorded with, among others, Dinah Washington, Woody Herman, Cannonball Adderley, and Stan Getz. Tonight, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Quartet salutes this pro’s pro with rare video footage, an onstage interview, and a live performance (with Betts himself) at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Todd Kliman)