Tedeschi Trucks band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge dead at 57

Published: Saturday, February 16, 2019 @ 8:00 AM

Kofi Burbridge played keyboards and the flute for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
Kofi Burbridge played keyboards and the flute for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Kofi Burbridge, the longtime keyboardist and flautist for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, died Friday. He was 57.

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The multi-instrumentalist, who moved to Atlanta in 1987 to join the band Knee-Deep, was hospitalized last month after a setback stemming from his 2017 emergency heart surgery in Atlanta. In January, the band alerted fans about Burbridge’s condition and his inability to join them on their current tour, which played Washington D.C., on Friday with fill-in keyboardist Gabe Dixon.

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The news of Burbidge’s passing was shared early Saturday by former bandmate Yonrico Scott; the cause and location of death has not been announced.

In an April 2018 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Derek Trucks spoke excitedly about how well Burbridge had recovered from his 2017 surgery.

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“Kofi is full force. It reminds me of ‘Lord of the Rings’ when Gandalf goes down and comes back as the white wizard -- he’s got a few extra layers of magic! His musicianship has always been amazing, but listening back to the studio (recordings) the last few days, he crossed over there for a minute!,” Trucks said in a preview of the band’s performance – with Burbridge – at SweetWater 420 Festival. 

Burbridge and his brother Oteil, a familiar presence on bass in the Allman Brothers Band and Dead & Company, met Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit in Atlanta in the late-1980s. Kofi joined Oteil in the band after Hampton departed in 1994; Kofi Burbridge joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1999 and remained with Trucks when he formed TTD in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi.

On Friday, TTD’s new album, “Signs,” was released -- featuring keyboards and flute from Burbridge.