Oteil Burbridge (born August 24, 1964 in Washington DC) is a bass-player and bandleader. He followed the footsteps of his older brother Kofi, combining music (then drumming) with dancing and acting in plays, commercials and local TV. He won a small but important role as a young gangster, "Lolo," in the 1979 Peter Sellers film "Being There".
At 14 Burbridge began learning the bass guitar. His family exposed him to jazz and fusion greats like Jaco Pastorius, Alphonso Johnson and Paul Chambers. He also studied the work of funk bassists Larry Graham and Bootsy Collins. He soon began playing in local cumbs and decided to become a professional musician. He joined a Virginia Beach cover band at 18, then three years later relocated to Atlanta where he was discovered by Colonel Bruce Hampton and made a founding member of the Aquarium Rescue Unit.
The band's loose style and continuous touring gave him opportunities for numerous side projects and guest appearances as well as session work. He became a member of the Allman Brothers Band's Butch Trucks' side project, Frogwings. When bass player Allan Woody left the Allman Brothers, Burbridge won the audition and debuted with the legendary group in Boston on June 20, 1997. He moved to Birmingham that year after marrying.
In 1999 Burbridge left his wife and moved to New York in an attempt to break out of a personal crisis. He converted to Christianity and rebuilt his life and marriage, returning to his Birmingham home, and taking up bowling.
In addition to the Allman Brothers, which works for 6 months out of the year, Burbridge has worked as a member of Gov't Mule, Bass Extremes and Vida Blue. He also leads his own ensemble, Oteil and the Peacemakers.
- Oteil Burbridge website
- Oteil Burbridge on Myspace.com
- Interview with Oteil Burbridge on "Tapestry"