First and foremost, if you have any question on the band, please be sure the read the FAQ file, linked below. It will most likely answer any questions you may have. It was maintained by the kind folks of Nancies and is freely available under the OpenContent License. We will try and update it as frequently as possible.
Dave Matthews Band FAQ / (6.0 – 2008 07 03)
Previous Version / (5.1 – 2002 11 16)
Below you will find mini-biographies on all the band members in first-name alphabetic order.
Boyd was raised in a very musical family. His father was the director of a choir and his uncle was a bass/trumpet player. Boyd grew up in the same neighborhood as future band mates Carter and Leroi. Boyd wasn’t really into music or being a music player when he was young. He accidentally signed up for violin in a middle school Orchestra class thinking he would be taught how to play the guitar. Boyd’s interest in the violin was enough to make him stick with it..
As a teenager, he played a part in forming the Charlottesville-Albemarle Youth Orchestra, in which future band mate and bassist Stefan Lessard was a member. He studied under Isidor Saslav, concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Boyd began listening to music other than Orchesta, like musicians who performed rock, blues, and jazz.
While he attended the University of Virgina he regularly participated in Jam Sessions. In the early 1990s he formed the Boyd Tinsley Band, which lasted only a couple of years. In 1991 Dave Matthews asked him to play violin on the song, Tripping Billies with his band for their demo tape. Boyd, after playing a few more shows, eventually joined the band, abandoning the Boyd Tinsley Band, and has been with them ever since. In 2003, Boyd released a solo album, True Reflections, featuring the title track he had written over a decade earlier, that he had performed with the Dave Matthews Band.
Boyd has a side career where he does commercials for brands like Twix, JanSport, and Tommy Hilfiger. Boyd is married and has two children with his wife, Emily: a daughter, Abagail (born 1996) and a son, Noah (born 1999). Boyd is an enthusiastic tennis fan. He has his own tournament, held annually in Charlottesville, Virginia. He often attends the Championships at Wimbledon, and in 2007 played doubles with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras. He has recorded a song called “The Ghosts of Wimbledon” for the 2006 ESPN coverage of the tournament. Boyd sponsors the Boyd Tinsley Tennis Program in Charlottesville.
Carter, born November 2, 1957 in Charlottesville, Virginia,is a drummer, percussionist, and founding member of Dave Matthews Band. He plays with an open hand drumming style, where his left hand leads on the hi-hat and ride cymbal in a conventional right-handed drumset set-up. He plays the drums and sings back-up vocals for the band.
Carter was first exposed to drumming at the age of three when his father took him to a Buddy Rich concert. Afterward, since Carter showed interest his father bought him a tin drum set with paper heads. At the age of nine he started performing professionally. He earned a degree in music from the Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, in Winchester, Virginia.
Carter performed in such bands as Secrets and Blue Indigo with fellow bandmate Leroi Moore. Both bands have performed at Miller’s Bar where Dave Matthews was a bartender. Eventually, Dave approached Carter regarding some music he had written that he wished to record. Carter agreed to perform on a demo, which is how he became one of the founding members of the Dave Matthews Band.
Carter uses a Yamaha Drums drum kit, Ludwig black beauty snare drums, Zildjian cymbals, Remo drumheads, Pro-Mark sticks and mallets, Yamaha and Drum Workshop hardware, and various Latin Percussion cowbells, woodblocks and other assorted percussion equipment.
From his first marriage, Carter has a grown daughter, Breana Symone. With his second wife, Karen, he has two children: a daughter, Nadja Angelique, born October 5, 2001 and a son, Marcus Carrington born December 2004.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa on January 9 1967, the third of four children born to John and Valerie Matthews. At the age of two his family relocated to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, started working for IBM.
When Dave graduated high school he was faced with conscription into the South African military just as civil disobedience to the practice was becoming widespread. A Quaker (and consequently pacifist), Matthews left South Africa to avoid service. He first toured around Europe before going to the United States and ultimately settling in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1986. It was here that Dave tended bar at Miller’s bar which introduced him to most of his future bandmates.
Before forming the Dave Matthews Band, Dave wanted someone else to sing his song rather than himself. Dave also acted. In the early 90′s Dave appeared onstage in several productions at Charlottesville’s Offstage Theatre and Live Arts theater. The role for which he is best remembered is as a used car salesman in Offstage Theatre’s “Just Say No”. Dave formed the Dave Matthews Band in early 1991 with Boyd Tinsley, the late LeRoi Moore, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, and Peter Griesar who left the band in 1993. The Earth Day Festival in Charlottesville was the band’s first show, and it was on April 20, 1991.
Prior to forming the Dave Matthews Band, Dave recorded some songs with fellow bartender Mark Roebuck. Most of these tracks were finally released in 2005 on the Tribes of Heaven album Imagine We Were. In 2003, Dave started working on a solo album, titled Some Devil, and contributed on other musicians songs, such as music by The Blue Man Group, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, and Emmylou Harris among many more. In the more recent years Dave has acted in some major motion pictures such as Where the Red Fern Grows, Because of Winn-Dixie, and I know Pronounce you Chuck and Larry among other movies.
On August 10, 2000, Dave married his long time girlfriend, Ashley Harper. They have two twin daughters, Grace Anne and Stella Busina , that were born on August 15, 2001. They also have a son, August Oliver, that was born on June 19, 2007.
Date of Birth: 7 September 1961, Durham, North Carolina, USA
Date of Death: 19 August 2008, Hollywood, California, USA (injuries from ATV accident)
Leroi Moore was born in North Carolina but was raised in Virginia. Moore studied the tenor saxophone at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Virginia, where he attended college. He became fluent with many horns including but not limited to the bass, baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, as well as the flute, bass clarinet, the wooden penny whistle, and the oboe. Leroi lat played with a handful of other musicians in Charlottesville such as, John D’earth and Dawn Thompson. Leroi helped found the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra in 1982 and the John D’earth Quintet.
The John D’earth Quintet would regularly play at Miller’s Bar in the later 80′s where Leroi met Dave Matthews for the first time in 1991. Matthews went to Leroi asking for him to contribute to some songs that Matthews had written. Leroi later became a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band. Leroi always wore sunglasses on stage some say because of stage fright.
Leroi was injured in a tragic ATV accident on his farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia on June 30th 2008. He suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs and was forced to drop out of the rest of the Dave Matthews Band summer tour where he was replaced by ‘Béla Fleck’ and The Flecktones member, Jeff Coffin. Leroi was listed in Serious Condition at the University of Virginia Health System. On July 1st his condition was updated to fair. Leroi is later released from the hospital to recover at home. Issues occurred during his home recovery and Leroi had to be readmitted back to the hospital on July 17th or early July 18th. On August 19th one of the worst days in Dave Matthews Band history happened, Leroi Moore passed away.
Leroi was 46 when he passed away. He will be forever missed by many.
Stefan Kahil Lessard is the eldest child of Janaki and Ron Lessard. Both of his parents were musicians that played frequently at weddings and lounges. After moving a number of times during his childhood, Lessard and his family eventually settled in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1987, where he enrolled in the Tandem Friends School, where he studied music under trumpeter John D’earth. John D’earth suggested Stefan to Dave Matthews, who was looking for a bass player, when he was forming the Dave Matthews Band. Stefan joined the band when he was only 16 years old.
Stefan dropped out of his junior year of high school to focus more on his music career. He was accepted at Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University in their jazz studies program, but left after only six weeks, when it became he realized that he couldn’t do his school work while continuing with the band.
Lessard married long-time girlfriend Josie Baucom in 1997. They had two children. One son together, Elijah Diego (born January 9, 1998) and lost a daughter, Aslan, to SIDS in 1996. They divorced in 2004.
In October 2005 he married Jaclyn Burton, and together they have two daughters, Hazel Bailey (born March 6, 2004) and Flora Jude (born July 13, 2006).
On November 29, 2007, Lessard’s home in western Albemarle County, Virginia, burned down. The Lessard family had a total loss estimated at over 2 million dollars. It took over 40 firefighters from five different fire departments to extinguish the blaze. The origin of the fire is unknown, but the Albemarle County Fire Marshall’s Office cites the structure’s cedar shake siding as a contributor to the rapid spread of the fire. Lessard and his son were home at the time of the fire, though they escaped unharmed.