Ursula Walker has been a mainstay of the Detroit music world for 66 years, beginning at the age of eleven on Detroit television and radio. Her outstanding talents as a unique stylist of ballads, standards, and jazz gained her national recognition among her peers, fielding many offers to tour nationally – with Stan Kenton, the Harry James Band, Count Basie, and Tony Bennett. Over the years she has performed at countless clubs, concerts, and festivals, frequently at the Detroit 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, one of which she is especially proud: the 2007 Southern Christian Leadership Conference Aretha Franklin Award for outstanding achievement in the Performing Arts. On August 5, Ursula received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Detroit Black Music Awards, honoring her then-60-year career as a jazz vocalist in Detroit.
Buddy Budson has been playing jazz piano around the Detroit area for the past 58 years. 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 and transitional music for the sitcom, Duet. Ursula also sang the theme and additional music for the show. He has also done vocal and instrumental arrangements for big band and orchestra.
Ursula Walker and the Buddy Budson Quintet perform standards and jazz classics, with an emphasis on well-known jazz instrumentals with lyrics written by Ursula and Buddy. The quintet features some of Detroit’s finest jazz musicians: on trumpet, Dwight Adams; on saxophone, Marcus Elliot; on bass, Jeff Halsey; on drums, Dave Taylor.