Leroi Moore was born an only child on September 7th, 1961 in Durham, North Carolina. He would be raised, however, in Charlottesville, Virginia by his parents Roxie and Albert Moore. He was attracted to music at an early age, influence by his mother who liked to play hymns on an small, old organ in the Moore house.
Leroi began playing the alto saxophone in his junior high school band and it wasn't long before he took up the tenor sax as well. In high school, he continued to play in the school band and even played football for a little while. After he graduated from high school, he went to James Madison University and studied the tenor saxophone. He started listening to some of the greats like Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, and around that time Leroi also picked up the saprano sax.
Over the next ten years, Roi played around Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia, frequently with groups that contained John D'earth and Dawn Thompson. It was durring these gigs that Dave and LeRoi first met and bonded. At first Roi was unaware that Dave was a musician, as he thought the future band frontman was simply a bartender. Yet they often had meaningful conversations dealing with the evils of racism and bigotry. However, when Dave later revealed his musical talent to Moore, Moore agreed to help Dave make the demo that the bartender had wanted to make.
LeRoi Moore will almost always be found with a pair of sunglasses while on stage to help fight stage fright. But he uses the adrenaline from the fear, to turn his disadvantage into an advantage. Moore, who carries eleven instruments with him on tour, may not always stand out while reserved in the shadows onstage, but the accomplished saxophonist is definitely not shy with his music.
Sadly, Leroi died on August 19, 2008 from complications arising from injuries he received in an ATV accident on his farm in Virginia. He will be greatly missed.
LEROI'S OBITUARY (Published on 8/25/08)
LeRoi Holloway Moore was born on September 7, 1961, in Durham, North Carolina to the late Albert P. Moore and Roxie Holloway Moore. The family settled in Charlottesville, Virginia during LeRoi's early childhood. Roi's musical aptitude was demonstrated as a mere toddler when he would walk around scatting jazz riffs, "Bop Bop." Today, LeRoi is still called "Bop Bop" by his aunts and uncles. Roi attended Charlottesville area public schools and graduated from the Western Albermarle High School. During this time he studied and mastered the saxophone. Roi's dedication to music was evident in Charlottesville. He was a founding member of the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra and the John D'earth Quintet, which played weekly at Millers. In 1991, LeRoi met Dave Matthews and agreed to record songs with him for a demo tape. Shortly after this partnership, Roi became a founding member of the Dave Matthews Band and played the flute, penny whistle, and a variety of saxophones. He was one of the few saxophonist to become a key member of a pop rock band. Jake Werkmeister said in a recent article, "What you may not know is how this seemingly humble man has single-handedly changed the way that a saxophonist is perceived in a rock band." In addition to his love of music, LeRoi was an avid sports fan. He played football in high school. He enjoyed watching golf, soccer and his beloved Dallas Cowboys. Roi was the oldest of three brothers and was part of the famous trio, "Roi Rodneyand Jeffrey." His favorite moments were those spent with family and friends. His trademarks to the world were the sound of his saxophone and dark glasses. His trademarks to his family and loved ones were his infectious smile, laugh, generosity and wonderful sense of humor. LeRoi was engaged to Ms. Lisa Bean in November. He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving mother, Roxie Holloway Moore; two brothers, Rodney Moore and Jeffrey Moore; a sister-in-law, Rosemary Moore and a host of loving family members and adoring music fans. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 27, 2008, at First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street, with the Reverend Sherry Hardwick Thomas presiding and the Reverend Doctor William Guthrie delivering the eulogy. Visitation will be held from 12 until 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 26, 2008, at First Baptist Church, 735 Park Street. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Charlottesville Area Community Fund, Memo: LeRoi Moore Memorial Fund. P.O. Box 1767, Charlottesville, VA. 22902.