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Ursula and Buddy

Ursula Walker

On August 5, 2012: Ursula received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Detroit Black Music Awards, honoring her 60-year career as a jazz vocalist in Detroit.

Ursula Walker has been a mainstay of the Detroit music world for 59 years, beginning at the age of eleven on Detroit television and radio. Ursula performed for three-and-a-half years at WXYZ-TV and 6-and-a-half years at WJR-Radio.

Pursuing her career in her hometown while raising four children, her outstanding talents as a unique stylist of ballads, standards, and jazz gained her national recognition among her peers. In the 60s, 70s, and 80s Ursula fielded many offers to tour nationally – with Stan Kenton, the Harry James Band, Count Basie, and Tony Bennett.

Over the years Ursula has performed at countless clubs, concerts, and festivals, frequently at the Detroit International Jazz Festival. She has opened for many well-known performers, including Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, and Tania Maria.

Ursula has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, among them a Clio Award for best vocal performance of a commercial jingle; election to the Metro Times Jazz Hall of Fame; the Midwest Arts Legends of Jazz Hall of Fame Award; the MCA Outstanding Musicians Award; the Detroit Metro Area Musicians and Entertainers Association Teddy Harris, Jr. Legendary Award; and the 2007 Southern Christian Leadership Conference Aretha Franklin Award for outstanding achievement in the Performing Arts.

Ursula was named Outstanding Jazz Vocalist at the 2011 Detroit Music Awards.


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Buddy Budson

Buddy Budson has been playing jazz piano around the Detroit area for the past 50 years, beginning at local clubs at the age of fifteen.

In 1973, Buddy joined drummer Buddy Rich’s big band, toured England, Australia, and the United States, and recorded an album with the band. Soon after, Buddy toured with both guitarist Earl Klugh and the Motown group, The Four Tops. He has also backed well-known performers including Henry Mancini, Mel Torme, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marlena Shaw, Charles McPherson, and Steve Turre.

When the Fox Television Network debuted in the late ‘80’s Buddy composed and arranged the theme song and much of the transitional music for the sitcom, Duet. He has also done vocal and instrumental arrangements for big band and orchestra.

Buddy is married to noted Detroit vocalist, Ursula Walker, and together they perform at clubs and concerts throughout the Detroit metro area. They have also given many clinics at Detroit-area schools and the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.

Buddy leads his own sextet, which performs at clubs and concerts and has recorded a CD entitled “On With Their Heads”.

Buddy is the recipient of a Metro Times Jazz Award and the Detroit Metro Area Musicians and Entertainers Association Teddy Harris, Jr. Legendary Award.

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