String Band Captain Makes History After Father’s Death

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It’s no secret Duffy String Band’s Jake Kudrick stole the show during the 2018 SugarHouse Casino Mummers Parade.

This year was bittersweet for band members after their longtime captain Ted Kudrick unexpectedly passed away in October. Jake made headlines as the youngest captain in the history of the string bands.

Teddy Kudrick served as captain of Duffy String Band for 32 years. After his sudden passing, his son Jake stepped up to the plate as a third-generation captain.

"It was very shocking to hear about Teddy's untimely death. He wasn't sick or anything just the next day he's gone," said band member Dennis McGuire.

Prior to his death, Teddy was inducted into the Philadelphia Mummers String Band Association Hall of Fame.

"It was really, really devastating. It's really hard to put into words. He was an incredible captain. We really lost a pretty amazing person too soon," added band member Kristin Williamson.

When it came time to decide who would lead the band down Broad Street this year, members knew exactly who to turn to.

"Jake has marched with the band and alongside his father since he was eleven months old. Our plan was always for Jake to succeed Teddy just not quite so soon," said Teddy's wife Colleen Kudrick.

A familiar face to Jake is long-time parade host Steve Highsmith. Steve's one of the few people Jake's opened up to about his role in the Mummers.

"It's primarily being like the leader of the string band and making sure everything is okay. Describe it as kind of tough," said Jake.


Still coping with his father's loss a few short months ago, Jake has the smile, charisma and confidence to lead.

"He's sad. He`s grieving. He and his father were extremely close, but the band is like a family and I think it actually almost makes him feel better to be around the band. It's where I see him smiling the most and he's ready to go. He's ready to do it," said Colleen.

Checkout "Wiz Wit" below including Jake's touching tribute to his father at the end of performance.

The string band took home 9th place and Jake tied for fourth place for string band captains.

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