Carter Anthony Beauford (born November 2, 1957 in Charlottesville, Virginia) is a drummer, percussionist, and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band (DMB). He is known for his ability to mix together countless percussion styles, his ambidextrous approach to playing, and is highly regarded for his open hand drumming style, where his left hand leads on the hi-hat and ride cymbal in a conventional right-handed drumset set.
Background Beauford was exposed to drumming at the age of three. At the time, his father had bought tickets to a Buddy Rich concert and could not find someone to watch his son, so he took young Carter along to the show. Carter was mesmerized by Buddy Rich on stage. After that show, Carter’s father bought his son a tin drum set with paper heads since Carter showed much interest in learning the instrument.
Carter began playing his first professional gigs when he was nine. Secrets, Dave Matthews Band Eventually, he joined Secrets, a Richmond-based jazz fusion band. Other members included saxophonist LeRoi Moore, trumpeter John D’Earth, vocalist Dawn Thompson, keyboardist Butch Taylor, and guitarist Tim Reynolds. Secrets would perform throughout Virginia, often at Miller’s, the bar in Charlottesville where Dave Matthews worked as a bartender. Carter also played in Blue Indigo with LeRoi Moore, Sal Soghoian, and George Melvin.
A driving Jazz band, Blue Indigo performed regularly at Tokyo Rose and Miller’s, and was featured at the Delaware Water Gap Jazz Festival. Eventually, Dave approached both Carter and LeRoi regarding some music he had written that he wished to record. Upon listening, Beauford agreed, thus establishing his permanent status as DMB drummer.
Personal life Has a daughter named Breana Symone from his first marriage. With his second wife, Karen, he has two children: a daughter, Nadja Angelique Beauford born October 5th 2001 and a son Marcus Carrington Beauford born in December 2004. Other collaboration Beauford has also contributed to other artists on side projects including work with Vertical Horizon, Carlos Santana, John Popper (Blues Traveler), and bass virtuoso Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and the Flecktones).