Kofi Burbridge on stage.

Tedeschi Trucks Band keyboardist Kofi Burbridge dies

The musician had longtime ties to Atlanta

[This story was originally posted at 3:15 a.m. Feb. 16 and updated at 1 p.m. Feb. 16 and 10 p.m. Feb. 18]

Kofi Burbridge, the longtime keyboardist and flautist for Tedeschi Trucks Band, died on Friday at the age of 57.

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, TTB 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.

The news of Burbidge’s passing was shared early Saturday morning by former bandmate Yonrico Scott; the cause of death has not been announced. Burbridge was in Atlanta when he died. 

Also on Saturday, Tedeschi Trucks Band posted a simple statement on their Twitter and Facebook pages - “We will miss our brother” - with a photo of Burbridge.

On Sunday, the band posted an additional homage.


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

“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 TTB’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-‘80s. 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 TTB in 2010 with wife Susan Tedeschi.

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

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About the Author

Melissa Ruggieri
Melissa Ruggieri
Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  
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