Dave Matthews' sax player dies from ATV wreck injuries

Posted August 20, 2008

— LeRoi Moore, the versatile saxophonist whose signature staccato fused jazz and funk overtones onto the eclectic sound of the Dave Matthews Band, died Tuesday of complications from injuries he suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident, the band said.

He was 46. Moore was born in Durham, N.C., according to a 1998 biography on the band by Morgan Delancey.

Moore died at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was admitted with complications that arose weeks after the June 30 wreck, according to a statement on the band's Web site. It did not specify what led to his death, and nursing supervisor Galina Shinder said the hospital could not release details.

On June 30, Moore crashed his ATV on his farm outside Charlottesville, Va., but was discharged and returned to his Los Angeles home to begin physical therapy. Complications forced him back to the hospital on July 17, the band said.

The band went on with its show Tuesday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where lead singer Dave Matthews dedicated the entire show to Moore.

"It's always easier to leave than be left," Matthews told the crowd, according to Ambrosia Healy, the band's publicist. "We appreciate you all being here."

Saxophonist Jeff Coffin, who played with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, had been sitting in for Moore during the band's summer tour.

Moore, who wore dark sunglasses at the bands' many live concerts, had classical training but said jazz was his main musical influence, according to a biography on the band's Web site.

"But at this stage I don't really consider myself a jazz musician," Moore said in the biography. Playing with the Dave Matthews Band was "almost better than a jazz gig," he said. "I have plenty of space to improvise, to try new ideas."

Lead singer Dave Matthews credited Moore with arranging many of his songs, which combine Cajun fiddle-playing, African-influenced rhythms and Matthews' playful but haunting voice.

The band formed in 1991 in Charlottesville, Va., when Matthews was working as a bartender. He gave a demo tape of his songs to Moore, who liked what he heard and recruited his friend and fellow jazzman Carter Beauford to play drums, and other musicians.

The group broke out of the local music scene with the album "Under the Table and Dreaming." The band won a Grammy Award in 1997 for its hit song "So Much to Say" off its second album "Crash." Other hits include "What Would You Say," "Crash Into Me" and "Satellite."

Fans who attended Tuesday's concert expressed sadness over Moore's death and concern about the band's future without him.

"LeRoi was just super important to the band," Shawn Harrington said before the concert. "That's how the band came to be."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • 1Moms_View Aug 20, 2008

    That's sad news. Future arrangements just won't be the same without his influence. He was so instrumental in creating them. RIP LeRoi. Prayers for his family and the DMB.

  • Jakethesnake Aug 20, 2008

    Leroi ruled, wow how fast things happen. He made me learn to love the saxophone. Live shows will still sound pretty much the same with jeff coffin covering the parts. The bands writing will probably be different though, Leroi was key to melodies,intros, outros, etc...... I'm sure Coffin will bring his own style into the writing if he gets the full time job. Either way, It's hard imagining the band without him from here on out.

  • Killian Aug 20, 2008

    I loved hearing him play so, so much. My heart breaks for his family, his friends, and his fans. Rest well, LeRoi. You will be missed.

  • jenstog Aug 20, 2008

    Sad! PS cbs31572... Two Step is my fav DMB song... how fitting that line is

  • dogsrule12cheek Aug 20, 2008

    OMG that is so sad he was an excellent sax player loved to listen to him,

    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends and the Band.

  • cbs31572 Aug 20, 2008

    Many people do not know that LeRoi was born in Durham, NC.


    LeRoi will be missed by all us die hard DMB fans!!!

    Life is short but sweet for certain.

  • Mom of two Aug 20, 2008

    How sad.

  • Deb1003 Aug 20, 2008

    What a sad turn of events ... as a longtime fan of DMB, I'll miss his solos and heartfelt musical talent. My condolences to his family and the Dave Matthews Band.

  • CrewMax Aug 20, 2008

    Yes, thanks for the music. His impact on the band's music can not be overstated.

  • Oberlin Aug 20, 2008

    As a long time fan of the band, I can't express how much I will miss hearing that beautiful sax. Leroi was an amzing musician, and by all accounts a more amazing person and bandmate. It's a real loss to anyone who appreciated true musicianship. Thank you Leroi for that beautiful sound. Rest in Peace.