Basic Background Info
When Carter Beauford was three years old, his father, a jazz trumpet player, couldnít find a babysitter, so he took Carter to a Buddy Rich concert with him. Thus a drummer was born. Carter Beauford says that as a professional musician his father "kinda hipped me to the whole music scene. And he made it look like so much fun I decided to go ahead and pursue it." Carter Beauford's father was not only an inspiration, but also a believer in Carter; after that Buddy Rich concert, he bought Carter a Roy Rogers drum made with tin shells and paper heads.
At nine years old, Carter Beauford played his first professional gig with Big Nick Nicholas's jazz-fusion band in Charlottesville. Carter Beauford played lots of local gigs at that time, including in a band called Secrets, with LeRoi Moore (saxophone), John D'Earth (trumpet), Dawn Thompson (vocals), Butch Taylor (keyboard), Tim Reynolds (guitarist). Secrets frequently played at Millers, where Dave Matthews tended bar. Carter and Moore also played in Blue Indigo, a driving jazz band that also played at Millers.
Dave Matthews eventually approached Carter Beauford and LeRoi Moore and asked them to take a look at some of his work. Beauford said, "I took a listen to it, and it was kind of interesting, the way he played and the way he wrote music. Before long we were in the studio recording something that we could go back and listen to and play for friends and see what people thought. We played it to friends and people were whooping and hollering over that sound we generated." Encouraged, they created Dave Matthews Band and released their first album in 1993.
Carter Beauford's success with Dave Matthews has garnered him even more work outside of the band. Recently, Carter played with Carlos Santana, Vertical Horizon, Blues Travelers John Popper, Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck, and Robin Andre. He said, "Outside work keeps the creativity flowing for me. I feel itís important to get in there and try to tackle someone elseís music and play a little different, and then bring it back to the band."
Carter Beauford's playing is characterized by combining percussions styles, his ambidextrous approach, and an open hand drumming style with his left hand leading on the hi hat. Carter Beaufords unusual ambidextrous and open hand style results from playing his drum kit in front of a mirror as a child trying to imitate drummers he saw on television and at concerts.
Instruments of Choice
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