Dave Matthews Band Essay

963 words - 4 pages

Dave Matthews Band


Formed in 1991, The Dave Matthews Band is composed of the widely varied musical
interests of five musicians to create a uniquely impressive sound that combines the
influences of folk, Jazz, rock, world beat, and reggae.
South African David Matthews, the band's lead guitarist, began to assemble the
players in 1991 to accompany him on a demo tape of original songs. Matthews, at the time
was a bartender at a Charlottesville, Va. Jazz venue, called Millers. Matthews decided to
approach the area musicians he most respected, and invite them to listen to his musical
ideas. He approached Leroi Moore and Carter Beauford first, two musicians that he
respected greatly. After listening to a few songs he had recorded, They decided to make a
tape together.
Before joining The Dave Matthews Band, Leroi played Jazz at many night spots in
the Charlottesville-Richmond area. Leroi, was trained in the classics, one reason for the
band's sometimes classical sound. Leroi plays a Haynes closed hole C foot flute, a Yamaha
Soprano saxophone, as well as Selmer Alto and Tenor Saxophones.
Prior to joining Matthews and Moore, Carter Beauford had been playing Jazz
drums since his childhood. His father played trumpet in a Jazz band, and Beauford grew
up with Jazz music surrounding him. Other than his father Beauford names Jazz Greats
Jhon Coltrane and Miles Davis to be among his biggest influences in music. After playing
the drums through college, Carter abandoned his musical aspirations and began teaching
history. But he soon went back to music. He signed with a fusion Jazz band called Secrets,
which lasted from 1984 to 1990. Secrets grew to have a huge following on the Virginia
Jazz circuit, including Dave Matthews. After the band dissolved, Carter went to California
to try out for the Arsenio Hall Show. After he failed to make it into the Arsenio band,
Carter landed a job on pianist Ramsey Lewis's BET Jazz show, "Bet on Jazz.” In January
of 1991, Carter moved back to Charlottesville, playing random gigs and taping the BET
show. When Matthews heard Carter was back in Virginia, he decided to approach him
about making the demo tape. Matthews, Beauford, and Moore then approached Stefan
Lessard, who at 16, was already an accomplished upright bass player The trio asked
Stefan to play electric bass guitar for the newly forming band. Lessard was already a very
well respected bass player in the Jazz circles of Virginia. He converted to the electric bass
for the band. The bass is really the only non “acoustic” instrument in the band. Sometimes,
though, Lessard uses the upright. Stefan considers revolutionary bass player Jaco
Pastorius to be his greatest musical influence.
While recording the demo one of the tunes seemed to need a supporting violin, the
group then sought out Boyd Tinsely who was a classical violinist until 1985, when he
switched over to rock and roll. Before joining Dave, Carter, Leroi, and...

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