Dave Matthews Band

Good Essays
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 ...

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singing style of Matthews. Dave commonly uses a wordless style of singing which involves

the substitution of real syllables and nonsense words in the place of an instrument. Many

Jazz artists are prolific in this type of “scat singing.” Louis Armstrong was the first to

record this type of singing in 1926 in a song called “Heebie Jeebies.” Matthews can be

heard using a scat type of singing in examples, four, “Minarets,” and five, “#36.”

A popular definition of Jazz includes the idea that the music “swings,” again the

song #36 (example number six) shows this trait.

Better than any of today’s popular bands The Dave Matthews Band finds the

balance between composition and improvisation, which is really what Jazz is all about. The

Dave Matthews Band combines the influences of many different types of music creating a

truly undefinable style of music.
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