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Passing of an Icon - RIP -- Ursula Tudor... Desperadoes Steel Orchestra's First Lady of Pan

Ursula Tudor, Junior ‘Man’ Samuel,  Anthony ‘Binks’ James

When Steel Talks extends our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the iconic Ms. Ursula Tudor of the legendary Desperadoes Steel Orchestra. She will be severely missed by the global steelpan music community.

Always a quiet and humble presence among us but a force to be reckoned with!


Desperadoes Steel Orchestra

In 2020, Ursula celebrated 50 years of membership with Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, joining the band shortly after Panorama in 1970. She is well-known in all steelpan circles as being the longest standing female player in history. In her 50 years, she has performed in all but one Panorama (2018-owing to a vehicular accident).

She is well travelled, having first toured with the band in 1976 to Jamaica, which she admits, remains her favourite trip. She reminisced on the hotel experience where food and drink seemed to be in endless supply.

The United States, Cuba, England, Switzerland, China, India, Korea are just some of the places that Ursula has been to in her decades-long career with Desperadoes. She often was the lone female when travelling and she recalled that the men always treated her like a sister, with dignity and respect.

She has also served as a Tenor section leader for a number of years as well as the band's Treasurer for six years.

Ursula certainly wasn't the only Tudor in Desperadoes as the tradition continued through her two daughters, grandsons, and niece; emulating the stellar example of the matriarch, but Ursula remains strong and steadfast in her commitment to Desperadoes and Laventille to this date.

"I enjoy my life playing pan," she said with a grateful heart; thankful for all the opportunities that she was afforded.

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Despers - Ordinary People

 Condolences to the family and friends of the late great Ursula Tudor. 

Randi Curvan


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