Lest We Forget: Celebrating The Life & Music Of Kofi Burbridge

Revisit the life and music of the late multi-talented musician who was born on this date in 1961.

By Andy Kahn Sep 22, 2023 11:56 am PDT

Multi-talented musician Kofi Burbridge was born in Washington D.C. on this date in 1961. A child prodigy on flute, Burbridge was also a skilled keyboard player who performed with The Derek Trucks Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit and for the last chapter of his life, as a founding member of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Sadly, Kofi Burbridge died at age 57 on February 15, 2019, following complications from a longstanding cardiac issue. Burbridge’s death reverberated throughout the community of musicians that Burbridge considered peers, admirers and friends.

The loss of Kofi Burbridge continues to impact his former bandmates in the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Last year, the group led by Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, released their four-part album, I Am The Moon that included the track “Soul Sweet Song,” which is a tribute to Kofi written by TTB keyboardist Gabe Dixon and vocalist/guitarist Mike Mattison. Sung by Tedeschi, the song’s poignant lyrics honor their beloved bandmate:

Now there’s no use wishin’ for your sweet return
‘Cause I see you in the mornin’ sun
And I hear you on the whispering wind
And I feel your rhythm movin’ me
‘Cause your soul’s sweet song’s still singin’

In the memory of your melody
When the dawn breaks out, the birds all sing
And I feel your rhythm movin’ me
‘Cause your soul’s sweet song’s still singin’

Memories of Kofi Burbridge’s melody and more were captured in the 32-minute documentary Lest We Forget: Kofi Burbridge. Featuring many of Kofi’s closest collaborators, the short-film tells the story of his life and career, while showcasing the impact he had on those he encountered.

Kofi’s brother, acclaimed bassist Oteil Burbridge, is prominently featured throughout the documentary. Oteil recalls his childhood, looking up to and learning from his multi-skilled older brother. A recurring theme is Kofi’s natural talents as a musician, evident from a young age when he demonstrated perfect pitch – a skill he would rely on for the rest of his musical career.

Along with Tedeschi, Trucks and Oteil Burbridge, Lest We Forget also presents stories about Kofi from Jimmy Herring, Victor Wooten, Regi Wooten, Tim Lefebvre, Adam Nitti, Roy Vogt and Lettuce’s Nigel Hall and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff, among others.

Produced by Ace Entertainment, click to purchase Lest We Forget: Kofi Burbridge, and watch the documentary below:

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