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Boyd Calvin Tinsley (born May 16, 1964) is an American violinist and mandolinist who is best known for having been a member of the Dave Matthews Band. During his tenure with the band, Tinsley collaborated in writing songs, harmonizing, and singing backing vocals.

Boyd Tinsley
Boyd Tinsley 7-5-08 Rothbury MI.JPG
Tinsley playing an electric violin in July 2008
Background information
Born (1964-05-16) May 16, 1964 (age 55)
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • Musician
  • composer
  • athlete
  • poet
Years active1991–present
Associated acts

Early lifeEdit

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.[1] 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 several years later. 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 Charlottesville High School, where he was President of the Student Government Association in his senior year.

Tinsley graduated from the University of Virginia.[2] While there, he became a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity.[1]


Dave Matthews BandEdit

In 1991, Dave Matthews asked Tinsley to play violin on the song "Tripping Billies" with his band for their demo tape. Tinsley eventually left his existing band (the Boyd Tinsley Trio) to join Dave Matthews Band.

On February 2, 2018, attorneys for former Crystal Garden band member James Frost-Winn sent Tinsley a demand letter in an effort to obtain an out-of-court settlement in regard to sexual harassment allegations.[2] On the same day, Tinsley announced via Twitter that he would be "taking a break from the band and touring to focus on his family and his health for a while."[3][2]

On May 18, 2018, Tinsley was fired from Dave Matthews Band after Frost-Winn sued him for sexual harassment.[4][5]

Crystal Garden and lawsuitEdit

In August 2015, Tinsley formed Crystal Garden with Mycle Wastman, Charlie Csontos and Matt Frewen. For two years he looked all over North America for a specific group of musicians who would form a modern day rock band. On the forming of the band, Tinsley commented "The band was an idea I had maybe three years ago. I really wanted to create a young rock band – not a pop band – but a real rock band that had the same sensibility that rock from the 1960s and 1970s had to it. You know, something rocking from the heart and expressing something real." In their first week of recording sessions at Boyd's studio in Virginia they tracked the bulk of their first studio album Let The Rocks Cry Out, which Tinsley produced. The album was released digitally on all platforms March 14, 2017 and physically on April 22, 2017. The band appeared on numerous morning shows.[6][7][8][9]

Former Crystal Garden band member James Frost-Winn sued Tinsley for sexual harassment in May 2018.[10][11] Tinsley issued a statement denying the "false accusations" and vowing to "fight both in and out of court to repair the damage that has been done".[12] In June 2019, attorneys notified the court that the suit had been settled.[2]

Other workEdit

Tinsley has played in the Boyd Tinsley Trio and in the group Down Boy Down.

In 2000, Tinsley made a guest appearance on The Getaway People's second album, Turnpike Diaries.[13]

In 2003, Tinsley released a solo album, True Reflections, featuring the title track he had written over a decade earlier. Tinsley was the principal songwriter of the album. True Reflections focuses on Tinsley as a singer-songwriter and does not feature much violin playing.[14]

On March 20, 2009, Tinsley appeared with former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville when she launched 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.[15]

Tinsley was a writer for the short film Faces in the Mirror which was first shown at the Woodstock Film Festival on October 13, 2012. Faces in the Mirror is only available for purchase electronically. Boyd Tinsely continues to support and put on pop-up events nationwide for those interested in seeing the film.[16][17]

Tinsley has endorsed products such as Twix,[18] JanSport, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Personal lifeEdit

Tinsley has two children with his wife Emily: a daughter, Abagail (born 1996) and a son, Noah (born 1999).[19]

Tinsley is an avid tennis fan. He often attends the Championships at Wimbledon, and in 2007 played doubles with John McEnroe and Pete Sampras.[20] He has recorded a song called "The Ghosts of Wimbledon" for the 2006 ESPN coverage of the tournament.[21] Tinsley has sponsored the Boyd Tinsley Tennis Program in Charlottesville.[21]



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

Solo discographyEdit

True Reflections (2003) – #3 Billboard Internet Sales chart[22]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "True Reflections: A Profile of Boyd Tinsley" (PDF). The Delta of Sigma Nu. Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.: 4–6 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d MCKENZIE, BRYAN. "Tinsley reaches settlement in sexual harassment lawsuit". The Daily Progress.
  3. ^ Tinsley, Boyd (February 2, 2018). "I need to take a break from the band & touring 2 focus on my family & my health 4 a while. I will miss you guys & my brothers in the band but I'm somewhat worn out & need 2 spend more time with my family & 2 bring more balance to my life. Thanks 4 ur Love. #peaceandLoVE". @bt_dmb. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  4. ^ Young, Alex (May 17, 2018). "Boyd Tinsley fired from Dave Matthews Band". Consequence of Sound.
  5. ^ Aswad, Jem (May 18, 2018). "Boyd Tinsley, Accused of Sexual Harassment, Is 'No Longer a Member' of Dave Matthews Band". Variety. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  6. ^ "Cultivating The Sound: Boyd Tinsley Discusses DMB, Crystal Garden & More". May 5, 2016.
  7. ^ FOX. "Crystal Garden live performance on Good Day LA".
  8. ^ Kirby, Brendan (March 24, 2017). "Crystal Garden featuring Boyd Tinsley Returns To Fete!".
  9. ^ "Crystal Garden (violin player Bord Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band) stops by the WGN Morning News". April 20, 2017.
  10. ^ "Former Dave Matthews Band Violinist Boyd Tinsley Sued for Sexual Harassment". Billboard.
  11. ^ "Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley accused of sexual misconduct: Report". May 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Leight, Elias (May 18, 2018). "Boyd Tinsley: 'I Will Defend Myself Against False Accusations' of Sexual Misconduct". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Bessman, Jim (May 27, 2000), "Getaway People Tour For 2nd Columbia Set". Billboard. 112 (22):15
  14. ^ "Boyd Tinsley: 'True Reflections'". August 2003.
  15. ^ "Inside the Word". University of Virginia Magazine. Summer 2009. Archived from the original on August 28, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Faces in the Mirror". October 13, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2016 – via IMDb.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 9, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ Petrecca, Laura (May 29, 2000), "Twix bar's global plunge puts Grey work to music". Advertising Age. 71 (23):8
  19. ^ Jerry Ratcliffe (April 26, 2011). "Ratcliffe: Tinsley shares his love of tennis in many ways". The Daily Progress. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Wish you were {t}here- Pete Sampras v. John McEnroe at JPJ, July 20, 2007". the Hook weekly. July 26, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  21. ^ a b Duerson, Adam (June 19, 2006), "The Beat". Sports Illustrated. 104 (25):26
  22. ^ No byline (July 5, 2003), "Top Internet Album Sales". Billboard. 115 (27):66

External linksEdit