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Boyd Tinsley

Tinsley playing an electric violin in July 2008
Background information
Born May 16, 1964 (1964-05-16) (age 45)
Charlottesville, Virginia
United States
Genres Rock, Classical music, Alternative rock
Occupations Musician, Composer
Instruments Violin
Years active 1991 – present
Labels RCA
Associated acts Dave Matthews Band
Dave Matthews & Friends
Alanis Morissette
Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Boyd Calvin Tinsley (born May 16, 1964, Charlottesville, Virginia) is an American violinist and mandolinist who performs as a member of the Dave Matthews Band. Within the band, Tinsley has collaborated in writing songs, harmonized and sung backing vocals.


Early life

Tinsley was raised in a musical family. His father was a choir director and his uncle a bassist who also played the trumpet for local bands. He grew up in the same neighborhood as future Dave Matthews Band drummer Carter Beauford and their late saxophonist, LeRoi Moore. He was not an avid music lover or player. He learned violin by accidentally signing up for a middle school orchestra class, under the impression that guitar would be taught. The idea of learning the violin, however, was interesting enough for him that he stuck with it.

As a teenager, he took part in forming the Charlottesville-Albemarle Youth Orchestra, in which future Dave Matthews Band member and bassist Stefan Lessard also took part. He studied under Isidor Saslav, concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Saslav offered him the chance to move to Baltimore to work with him more closely. Tinsley was 16 at the time, and declined the offer. Tinsley's interest began to transfer from orchestral music to popular music, listening to other musicians who performed rock, blues, and jazz.


He attended the University of Virginia, where he became a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. While there, he started participating in regular musical jam sessions. In the early 1990s, he formed the Boyd Tinsley Band, which lasted only a couple of years.

In 1991 Dave Matthews asked him to play violin on the song "Tripping Billies" with his band for their demo tape. Tinsley eventually joined the band, abandoning the Boyd Tinsley Band, and has remained with them to date.

Tinsley has a small side career of endorsing products including Twix,[1] JanSport, and Tommy Hilfiger.

In 2000, Tinsley made a guest appearance on The Getaway People's second album, "Turnpike Diaries".[2]

In 2003, Tinsley released a solo album, True Reflections, featuring the title track he had written over a decade earlier.

On March 20, 2009, Tinsley appeared with former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville when she premiered her poetry book "Sonata Mulattica," about 19th century violin virtuoso George Bridgetower; Tinsley is mentioned in the first poem in the book, "The Bridgetower." He composed and performed a musical piece for the event, read a poem from the book and discussed his musical life in particular and the role of classically trained African-American musicians in general with Dove.

Personal life

Tinsley has two children with his wife, Emily: a daughter, Abagail (born 1996) and a son, Noah (born 1999).

Tinsley is an avid tennis fan. He has his own tournament, held annually in Charlottesville, Virginia. He often attends the Championships at Wimbledon, and in 2007 played doubles with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.[3] He has recorded a song called "The Ghosts of Wimbledon" for the 2006 ESPN coverage of the tournament.[4] He is a friend of tennis players Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and tennis doubles players Bob and Mike Bryan.[5] Tinsley sponsors the Boyd Tinsley Tennis Program in Charlottesville.[4]



See Dave Matthews Band discography for his work with the band.

Solo discography

True Reflections (2003) - #3 Billboard Internet Sales chart[6]

See also

External links



  1. ^ Petrecca, Laura (2000-05-29), "Twix bar's global plunge puts Grey work to music". Advertising Age. 71 (23):8
  2. ^ Bessman, Jim (2000-05-27), "Getaway People Tour For 2nd Columbia Set". Billboard. 112 (22):15
  3. ^ "Wish you were {t}here- Pete Sampras v. John McEnroe at JPJ, July 20, 2007". the Hook weekly. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2007-08-08.  
  4. ^ a b Duerson, Adam (2006-06-19), "The Beat". Sports Illustrated. 104 (25):26
  5. ^ Robson, Douglas (n.d.). "In life of Bryans, it's double fun." USA Today. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed July 31, 2008).
  6. ^ No byline (2003-07-05), "Top Internet Album Sales". Billboard. 115 (27):66

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