A resident in the UK since 1954, Harry Beckett had an international reputation. In 1961, he played with Charles Mingus in the film All Night Long. In the late 1960s he worked and recorded within the band of bass player and composer Graham Collier. Since 1970, he has been leading groups of his own, recording for Philips, RCA and Ogun Records amongst other labels. He was a key figure of important groups in the British free jazz/improvised music scene, including Ian Carr's Nucleus, the Brotherhood of Breath and The Dedication Orchestra...
He was a key figure of important groups in the British free jazz/improvised music scene, including Ian Carr's Nucleus, the Brotherhood of Breath and The Dedication Orchestra, London Jazz Composers Orchestra, London Improvisers Orchestra, John Surman's Octet, Django Bates, Ronnie Scott's Quintet, Kathy Stobart, Charlie Watts, Stan Tracey's Big Band and Octet; Elton Dean's Ninesense. He has also recorded with Keef Hartley, Jah Wobble, David Sylvian and worked with David Murray. He toured abroad with Johnny Dyani, Chris McGregor, Keith Tippett, John Tchicai, Joachim K?hn, Dudu Pukwana's Zila, George Gruntz's Bands, Belgian quintet The Wrong Object, Pierre D?rge's New Jungle Band and Annie Whitehead's Robert Wyatt project, Soupsongs, which also featured Phil Manzanera and Julie Tippetts, amongst other jazz and rock luminaries.
His most recent, dub-oriented album, The Modern Sound of Harry Beckett, was produced by famed British producer Adrian Sherwood and released on On-U Sound in late 2008.
In 1972, Beckett won the Melody Maker jazz Poll as 'Top Trumpeter in Britain'. He was a member of the Orchestre National de Jazz between 1997 and 2000.
Beckett died on 22 July 2010 after suffering a stroke.