Photo via Blue Canoe Records
Best known for his work with the Derek Trucks Band, drummer Yonrico Scott has died. He was 63.
A statement from Blue Canoe records read, “Mr. Scott was a drummer, percussionist, vocalist, visual artist, educator, and a true friend and champion of our label… The people he touched with his gifts is unmeasurable. His spirit will live on and we ask that you pray for his family during this difficult time.”
After growing up in Detroit, Scott took to the drums at a young age and eventually apprenticed under Motown drummer George Hamilton. He found success as a session drummer for famed acts like Stevie Wonder, and joined the Derek Trucks Band in 1995.
“Yonrico [Scott, drums] is the oldest guy in the band, and he’s been doing this forever,” Trucks told Relix in 1998. “He brings a classical orientation to the band, having played with everything from symphonies to Whitney Houston. He’s so knowledgeable in music, and he’s one of the better drummers I’ve heard.”
A 2003 Relix piece on the Derek Trucks Band noted, “A veteran of Whitney Houston and Peabo Bryson’s touring bands, Scott had also manned the Broadway orchestra pits for The Wiz, Dreamgirls and 5 Guys Named Moe (after that play’s NYC run, he joined the national company as well). Yet with Trucks, he saw talent and intent ( ‘I could tell he was anointed’), as well as an opportunity to take an active role in the young group’s musical direction. As a result, he laughs, ‘I went from playing in Madison Square Garden to playing in 50-seat clubs.'”
Through the years, Scott acted as one of the creative bedrocks of the Derek Trucks Band, and even acted as their spokesman, accepting the 2010 Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for the band’s LP Already Free.
He released three solo records between 2012 and 2015, and after Derek Trucks Band morphed into the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Scott joined the Royal Southern Brotherhood supergroup, performing alongside Cyril Neville, Devon Allman, Charlie Wooton and Bart Walker. That project released its self-titled debut in 2012.
Outside of music, Scott found joy in the visual arts, often showcasing his work on the drumheads of his kit.
Watch Scott perform a stirring, seven-minute drum solo circa 2015 below: