The world lost a brilliant musician last month. Kofi Burbridge, keyboardist-flautist-vocalist with the Tedeschi Trucks Band passed away due to heart issues. For those of you who don’t know of Kofi, his name might sound familiar as he is the brother of Oteil Burbridge, bass player for the Allman Brothers and Dead & Company.
The following is a portion of Oteil’s tribute to his brother Kofi:
“Kofi was my first and biggest hero. He still is. Even though I know all of his human frailties, and even things that used to frustrate me, I will never be any less in awe of his superpowers. They were discovered at a very early age. I thought he was normal as a kid. I didn’t realize how advanced he was until I started playing in high school bands and saw the difference. Trying to keep up with him made me a better player more quickly than most kids my age. I never did catch up to him. There are so many things that I still wanted to learn from him. He was my teacher…
My mom told Jess, ‘Kofi lived a full and rich life from a very early age.’He started sitting in with jazz legends by age nine. He was making the newspapers in Washington D.C. by that same time. He traveled to Russia with a Washington D.C. theatre company at age 14. He was composing amazing jazz, jazz-rock fusion and classical music by high school. Later on he recorded many records with Derek Trucks Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band and so many others. He got to play and record with his biggest hero, Herbie Hancock. He got to play one of the inaugural balls for the first black president ever elected. He won two Grammys. He traveled the world many times over. He played all the jazz festivals that we dreamed of playing as teenagers. He made almost all of his dreams come true and some we didn’t even know we had. His cup certainly ran over. His death has revealed to me what an indelible mark Kofi made on the music world. The outpouring of love and support from the community has meant so much to me and my family…
Fly free, Kofi. Fly free my sweet brother. I love you so much man.
Rest in Peace, Kofi Burbridge. There will be few spirits, minds, humor, and talents like yours to follow.”
Learn how to play rock and blues piano from one of rock’s greatest. Chuck Leavell, legendary keyboardist for The Rolling Stones, The Allman Bros, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and more.
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