LeRoi Holloway Moore (September 7, 1961 – August 19, 2008) was an American saxophonist best known as a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band.
Moore was born on September 7, 1961 in Durham, North Carolina to Lee Vester and Pennie Louise (née Smith) Moore. Raised in Virginia, he attended college at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia studying tenor saxophone and later became an accomplished jazz musician in Charlottesville, Virginia playing with artists such as John D'earth and Dawn Thompson. Moore began playing professionally after a brief stay in college. Moore helped found the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra (1982), and the John D'earth Quintet. The latter played at Miller's, a Charlottesville bar, every Thursday night in the late 1980s, where Moore first met Dave Matthews in 1991. In an effort to bring in some instrumental help for some songs Matthews had written, Moore began recording songs with Matthews.
Moore played bass, baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, as well as the flute, bass clarinet and wooden penny whistle. Moore's woodwind technician, David Saull, notes that Moore had "quite an extensive horn collection". As of 2002, it included a Buescher bass saxophone, Selmer Mark VI and Yamaha baritone saxophones, two Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophones, two Selmer Mark VI alto saxophones, a Yamaha soprano, and a Selmer Super-80 Series 3 soprano, according to Saull.
In addition to performing with the Dave Matthews Band, Moore appeared on Code Magenta's self-titled album, and on Soko's album In November Sunlight.
Moore was injured on June 30, 2008, in an ATV accident on his farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia, breaking several ribs and puncturing a lung, and was hospitalized at UVA for several days. His last live performance took place two days prior at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia. Jeff Coffin, the saxophonist from Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, stood in for Moore on subsequent tour dates. Though released several days later, Moore was re-hospitalized in mid-July for complications related to the accident.
On August 19, 2008, the official Dave Matthews Band website reported that Moore died of complications from his injuries in the ATV accident. The following statement was released on the band's website:
We are deeply saddened that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, August 19, 2008, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles from sudden complications stemming from his June ATV accident on his farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. LeRoi had recently returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program.
Dave Matthews paid tribute to Moore on August 19, 2008 at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, after the band's first song of the performance, "Bartender". "We all had some bad news today," Matthews told the sold-out crowd. "Our good friend LeRoi Moore passed on and gave his ghost up today and we will miss him forever." Fans then shouted Moore's name in remembrance.
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