Dave Matthews Band

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The Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville in 1991.[1] Some sources cite Charlottesville's Earth Day Festival in 1991 as the band's first public performance,[1] while others cite a performance on March 14, 1991 at Trax, a Charlottesville nightclub.[2] The Dave Matthews Band is a jam band using stylistic influences from rock, jazz fusion, folk, indie, and alternative music.[2] Current members include Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard, Tim Reynolds, Reshawn Ross, Jeff Coffin, and Buddy Strong. [2]

Early Years of Dave Matthews Band

Matthews was a bartender at Miller's on the downtown mall when the band formed.[2] The Dave Matthews Band formed in Charlottesville in the year 1991 by frontman and guitarist/vocalist Dave Matthews. At this time the band consisted of drummer Carter Beauford and saxophonist Leroi Moore, both jazz musicians from the area. Soon after, at the recommendation of John D’earth, a very influential person within the Charlottesville jazz community, the band brought in the very talented 16-year-old Stefan Lessard as a bassist. Finally, keyboardist Peter Griesar joined the band along with classically trained violinist Boyd Tinsley. Griesar left after a few years of playing with the band. The band’s first public performances, while sometimes disputed was for a Middle East Children’s Alliance Benefit at Trax Nightclub.[1] The second show was for the City of Charlottesville’s Earth Day Festival in April just a month later.[1] The first paid gig was at a gig on the rooftop of the pink warehouse on South Street in downtown Charlottesville. From here on, regular gigs at two clubs, the Eastern Standard, and Trax Nightclub began occurring regularly.[1]


Bama Works Fund

The Band continues to give back to the community that first supported them through the Bama Works Fund. The band gave $5 million dollars to re-imagine public housing within Charlottesville, including the renovation of Crescent Halls public housing block.[3] The band also contributed to support The Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band which has raised $52M and made over 2000 grants since It’s 1999 establishment. [4]

A Concert for Charlottesville

Following the Unite The Right Rally on August 12, 2017, Dave Matthews band, along with the help of other notable artists including Justin Timberlake, Pharrell, Ariana Grande, and Stevie Wonder, supported the community with their music with a concert titled “A Concert for Charlottesville”. [3]

Notable Locations for Dave Matthews Band within Charlottesville

Eastern Standard- Location of Dave Matthews Band's first weekly shows

Miller's- Bar that Dave Matthews worked as a bartender at, also used for some time as a rehearsal space for the band

The Pink Warehouse- Location of the Band's first paid gig

Charlottesville Pavilion- Dave Matthews Band played here on May 15, 1992

The Prism Coffeehouse- Dave Matthews Band played here several times (Presently a Community Arts Center)

Trax- Formerly hosted weekly performances from Dave Matthews Band from 1991-1993. Some sources cite as first place Dave Matthews Band performed publicly[2] (Presently an empty lot)

Meade Park- Some sources cite the 1991 Earth Day Festival at Meade Park to be first performance by the band[1]

John Paul Jones Arena- Dave Matthews Band performed here on tour in 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Web. Dave Matthews Band: History, Bama Rags, retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Web. Dave Matthews Band, Wikipedia, retrieved 31 July 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Web. HOW DAVE MATTHEWS GIVES BACK TO HIS HOMETOWN OF CHARLOTTESVILLE, Red Light Management, 1/14/2019, retrieved 8 May 2023.
  4. Web. Bama Works: Dave Matthews Band Gives Back, "Dave Matthews Band", retrieved 5/9/23.
  5. Web. Dave Matthews Band Charlottesville Hot Spots Tour, AntsMarchin.org, retrieved 5/5/23.