David Rudder


Trinidadian Performing & Recording Artists

Date of Birth (DOB): 5/6/53
From: Trinidad and Tobago
Best Known for: Singer/ Songwriter

Bio: David was born in Belmont, Trinidad on May 6, 1953. One of nine children, he spent much of his early childhood with his grandmother, a spiritual Baptist, growing up near a pan yard and a Shango yard, in a neighbourhood where boys dreamed of being entertainers. It was at school that he discovered how much art, painting and sculpture really interested him. Rudder began singing at the age of 11 with a group called The Solutions. In 1977, he joined the brass band Charlie's Roots and began charting his musical career.

In the early days, Rudder acquired a reputation as a back-up singer in the calypso tent run by Lord Kitchener, while earning his living as an accountant with the Trinidad Bus Company. Rudder's first big break came when Christopher "Tambu" Herbert, lead singer with Charlie's Roots, fell ill after an exhausting tour of Guyana and suggested his friend Rudder as a temporary replacement. Rudder stayed on as a co-lead singer, and built a reputation for his scintillating performances. His exposure to Shango and the Pan Yards influenced his music, he was also influenced by Jazz and African artists such as Yossou N'Dour, Alpha Blondy. He is known as one of the few band singers who wrote all his own songs.

Rudder is respected not only for talent but for his clean image. He uses his own name, does not drink (alcohol) and rarely fraternized with the other calypsonians. He has two children, his first son Khafra, was born in December 1984, almost exactly a year after the death of Rudder's father, an oilfield worker in La Brea in South Trinidad. His second son is named Isaac. Rudder spends much of his spare time reading or relaxing with his children, who he regularly brings on stage.

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