Dave Matthews At the age of two, Matthews and his devoutly Quaker family immigrated to Westchester County, New York, where his physicist father went to work for IBM. Then, in the early 1970s, he moved to Cambridge, England before returning to New Jersey, where his father died of Hodgkins disease, in 1977. Dave took piano lessons as a child before picking up the guitar at age nine. The family moved back to South Africa in 1980, where Matthews went to a few different schools.
In 1986 Matthews relocated to Charlottesville, Virginia, where his parents had lived before he was born. Though he also logged time back in South Africa and in Amsterdam, it was in Charlottesville that he became part of the local music community. His first professional musical performance was at a modern dance performance by the Miki Liszt Dance Company, singing "Sensitive Feelings," composed by John D'earth and Dawn Thompson. In 1990 he hatched the idea to form his own band.