LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, August 19, from complications stemming from an ATV accident on his farm near Charlottesville, VA. The 46-year-old saxophonist was injured in an ATV accident on June 30, 2008 and has been off the road since that time. Though the saxophonist originally seemed to be recovering, he was readmitted to the hospital in mid-July. Moore recently has returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program and died at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
Before helping popularize the second generation jamband movement, Moore was a local Virginia jazz musician proficient on such instruments as saxophones, flute, bass clarinet and wooden penny whistle. Along with Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford and bassist Stefan Lessard, Moore co-founded Dave Matthews Band in 1991. He appears on all six of the group’s studio releases, as well as the band’s numerous live documents. His co-writing credits include such DMB cuts as “Too Much,” “#34,” “Pig” and “Stay.”
Though Moore was the least visible member of the band offstage, he appears on an eclectic mix of non-Dave Matthews Band releases, ranging from Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead to Soko's In November Sunlight to Hootie & The Blowfish’s Musical Chairs and Code Magenta's self-titled release. In addition, Moore sat in with a wide number of musicians over the years, including five cameos with Phish between the years 1994 and 1997. Along with his bandmates, Moore also participated in Warren Haynes’ 1993 Ritz Power Jam, a seminal jam session that featured Haynes, John Popper, Noel Redding, Chuck Leavell, Bernie Worrell, Jaimoe, Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon, among others.
Flecktones saxophonist Jeff Coffin has been subbing for Moore throughout Dave Matthews Band’s summer tour. The group took the stage as planned the night of Moore’s passing at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and opened with “Bartender,” a song whose opening lyrics include the lines “if I go/before I'm old/ oh, brother of mine/please don't forget me if I go." As of press time, the group has made no statement about its future plans.