IN MEMORIAM: Kofi Burbridge – Multi-Instrumentalist // Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths
Kofi Burbridge (September 22, 1961 – February 15, 2019) was an American keyboardist and flautist of the blues and blues rock group Tedeschi Trucks Band. Burbridge was born to William and Carol Burbridge in the Bronx, New York, United States, although the family moved to Washington, D.C. two years later.
Burbridge was a classically-trained multi-instrumentalist, and he has provided keyboards, organ, flute, and backing vocals for various bands throughout his career. He was previously part of the Grammy Award winning Derek Trucks Band. He was also the brother of bass player Oteil Burbridge, who is known for his work in the Allman Brothers Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Dead & Company, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Oteil Burbridge cites his brother as his biggest influence and mentioned Kofi was found to have perfect pitch around the age of seven.
Burbridge joined his first band in the Atlanta region called Knee-Deep, and the lineup included his brother Oteil and Jeff Sipe on drums. The band broke up after less than a year but introduced him to other notable musicians in the area like Bruce Hampton. He eventually joined the Aquarium Rescue Unit shortly after Col Bruce Hampton left, which reunited him with Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Sipe.
The Derek Trucks Band
Burbridge joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1999. Both Trucks and his brother Oteil had also joined the Allman Brothers Band and Kofi occasionally guested with them. The band went on hiatus in 2010.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band
In 2010, Kofi joined his brother Oteil Burbridge in the new group, Tedeschi Trucks Band, which merged some former members of The Derek Trucks Band and Susan Tedeschi’s former backing band. The band performed at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010 and appears on the DVD release with two of their songs, “Midnight in Harlem” and “Comin’ Home”. The Tedeschi Trucks Band released their debut album, Revelator in 2011, which won the Grammy Award for Best Blues Album at the 54th Grammy Awards. In 2012, the band released their second album, Everybody’s Talkin’, a double live album compiled from their 2011 world tour. On August 2013 their third album, Made Up Mind, their second studio album, was released.
On June 20, 2017 Kofi Burbridge suffered a heart attack and had surgery to repair an aortic rupture. After four months of recovery, Burbridge returned to the band in October, 2017 but suffered a health setback that was announced on January 4, 2019 by the band. Burbridge died at the age of 57 on February 15, 2019, the day that Tedeschi Trucks Band’s fourth album, Signs, was released.
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…
19: Vicious, 51, American rapper, complications from cancer.
17: Ethel Ennis, 86, American jazz singer, stroke; Ami Maayani, 82, Israeli composer, cancer; Šaban Šaulic, 67, Serbian folk singer, traffic collision.
16: Ken Nordine, 98, American voice-over and recording artist (Word Jazz, Son of Word Jazz, Love Words).
15: Kofi Burbridge, 57, American rock multi-instrumentalist (Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Derek Trucks Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit).
14: Sergei Zakharov, 68, Russian singer, heart failure.
13: Connie Jones, 84, American jazz trumpeter; Willy Lambregt, 59, Belgian rock musician (The Scabs, Vaya Con Dios), cancer; Arif Sirin, 69, Turkish singer and composer, throat cancer; Marisa Solinas, 79, Italian singer and actress (Boccaccio ’70, La commare secca, Almost Blue); Hans Stadlmair, 89, Austrian conductor.