Yonrico Scott, the decorated drummer best known for his work as a longtime member of the Derek Trucks Band, has passed away. His death was confirmed by his record label, Blue Canoe Records, early Friday morning. As of publication time, no cause of death had been confirmed.
Born in Detroit, MI, Yonrico Scott took an early interest in music and drumming. By the age of seven, Scott was playing professionally with various gospel groups in the area, inspired by the support of his late mother, a talented gospel vocalist.
In his early teens, Yonrico studied with Motown drummer George Hamilton. He went on to study performance percussion at the Kentucky State University, where he was voted “Drummer of the Year” in his freshman year. He later transferred to the University of Kentucky to study with Dave Davenport, principal timpanist of the Lexington Philharmonic.
After college, Yonrico Scott accepted an Artist in Residency assignment with the Neighborhood Arts Center’s Department of Cultural Affairs in Atlanta, GA. It didn’t take long for Yonrico to become one of the most highly sought-after studio drummers in Atlanta.
In 1995, Yonrico began to tour the world with the Derek Trucks Band. Scott was the second permanent member of the band (after bassist Todd Smallie). By 2002, the group’s lineup was finalized with the addition of vocalist Mike Mattison, percussionist Count M’Butu, and keyboardist/flutist Kofi Burbridge, who passed away earlier this year. Yonrico remained with the group until it was dissolved at the end of 2009.
Scott contributed drumming and songwriting to each of the Derek Trucks Band’s six studio albums. In 2010, he won a Grammy Award for “Bes Contemporary Blues Album” along with his DTB bandmates for their 2009 album, Already Free.
In the years following his time with the Derek Trucks Band, Yonrico served as the drummer for Royal Southern Brotherhood alongside legendary NOLA vocalist/percussionist Cyril Neville, guitarist/vocalist Devon Allman, guitarist/vocalist Mike Zito, and bassist Charlie Wooton.
As Blue Canoe Records notes, “Throughout his musical career, Yonrico recorded and/or performed with a Who’s Who list of well-known artists including: Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Chuck Berry, George Howard, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, Joshua Redman, George Benson, Anita Baker, Tinsley Ellis, The Allman Brothers Band, Susan Tedeschi, Kansas, John Scofield, Bruce Hampton, Cecil Bridgewater, Alvin Batiste, Gary Burton, Fiji Mariners, Andrew White, Gregg Allman, John Denver, Ben E. King, The 3 Degrees, The Supremes, Widespread Panic, Phil Lesh, The Lexington Philharmonic, and The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Rest easy, Yonrico. You will be missed.
Yonrico Scott – Drum Solo – Live in Atlanta (2015)
[Video: Entress’Ink Film Works]