Tedeschi Trucks Band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge dead at 57

Kofi Burbridge (Image credit: Larry Hulst - Getty)

Kofi Burbridge, who played flute and keyboards in Tedeschi Trucks Band has died at the age of 57.

The band reported the news on social media, simply saying: “Kofi Burbridge. September 22, 1961 – February 15, 2019. We will miss our brother.”

They later released a statement paying tribute to the multi-instrumentalist, saying: “The world lost a true genius on Friday. Kofi was a beautiful man, loving friend, and brilliant musician. We are eternally grateful he came into our lives, sharing his many gifts and inspiring us both in music and life. 

“With heavy hearts we will carry on in his spirit, and do our best to honour him and his legacy. He’ll be a part of us forever.”

The Allman Brothers Band, with whom Burbridge played on multiple occasions, also released a statement, saying: "The Allman Brothers Band Family lost another member last night, Kofi Burbridge. Kofi a master of keyboards and flute came into the family through his brother bassist Oteil.

"He died in Atlanta on February 15, following complications surrounding treatment for an ongoing cardiac issue."

Tedeschi Trucks Band percussionist Yonrico Scott added: “Today we have lost one of the most beautiful people on the planet. My brother Kofi Burbridge has made his transition, he put up a hard fight.

With heavy hearts we will carry on in his spirit, and do our best to honour him and his legacy

Statement from Tedeschi Trucks Band

"My heart goes out to the Burbridge family. Also to the DTB and TTB family. My love is with you. Brother Kofi has touched so many souls, thru his spirit and music."

Burbridge joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1999 in time for their third album Joyful Noise, and went on to play on another six albums. After they broke up in 2010 he joined the Tedeschi Trucks Band, playing on all their releases including Signs, which came out on Friday. 

After suffering a serious health scare in 2017 when he underwent emergency heart surgery, Burbridge was able to return to the band during the sessions for Signs, including arranging a string quartet from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.  

Trucks told Live For Live Music: "Oh man, it was so good. He has such amazing ears and he has the knowledge and the ability to articulate exactly what he wants to hear.

"It was a proud moment for Kofi. He was out there in his element, and it’s not something you get to do very often. It was a special day. It was. There were a lot of smiles in the studio.”

However, in January the band announced that Burbridge would not be joining them on their current tour, reporting: "Unfortunately Kofi Burbridge has suffered a recent setback related to his surgery in 2017 and had to undergo a follow-up procedure last week. 

“The doctors feel good about his recent progress and we’re hoping he’ll be out of the hospital soon, but he’ll need some time for recovery." 

No official cause of death has been revealed.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.