Carter is the eldest member of DMB, born November 2, 1957 in Charlottesville. Carter’s father was a jazz musician (Trumpet), and Carter quickly followed in his father’s musical footsteps. “He thought that (playing music) was something that kids should get into and learn about (performing),” (Modern Drummer, 10/96) Carter recalled. Beauford did just that, he got into music in a similar fashion that Dave Matthews did, self-taught. “I studied indirectly through (my father) just from listening to him play with his band and hearing him put on records.”(Cyber Drum Online, 8/96).
At age 9, Carter played his first gig with a band led by luminary Big Nick Nicholas. He jammed with people 4 times his age. By Junior High School, he was in a Jazz band during his free time. While attending Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA, Carter struck up a close friendship with Billy Drummond, a New York Jazz Drummer. Drummond influenced Carter greatly, but music was only his hobby in college. He majored in occupational therapy. Carter’s inability to read music shied him from further pursuit. Carter taught elementary and high school in Albemarle Co, VA and Winston-Salem, NC for 12 years. The call of music was too strong, and Carter quit to become a full time musician.
Beauford played with a few Disco and Country bands after returning to Charlottesville, before joining a Jazz Fusion band around 1984. Secrets, formed by John D’Earth, featured Beauford on Drums for about 6 years. It was also during this time that Carter landed a gig as the drummer on BET on Jazz, fittingly on the BET network. He remained a member of Secrets, and also played some in some other Jazz bands, including a few with LeRoi Moore. He also had a tryout with the Arsenio Hall Show in LA, but did not get the gig. But that missed opportunity put Beauford living back in Charlottesville in January, 1991.
It was then that a skinny bartender approached LeRoi Moore and he, and asked them both to play on a demo.
Dave, Carter, LeRoi and Stefan Lessard played on the demo, and a few gigs. After DMB obtained more live shows, Carter officially quit BET on Jazz, and focused solely on DMB.
Carter is Married (Karen - 2nd) with 2 children (Breanna - 1st, Nadja - 2nd).