Dave Matthews: Seattlite

Cobain, Kenny G, Hendrix, Terry Brooks. Seattle’s talented spawn. This city is a breeding ground for artists and thinkers, critics and activists. Yet we also gain transplants like Dave Matthews.

The actor turned singer/songwriter uses his platform to express his globally conscious views while being able to reach popular audiences, making him one of Seattle’s most prominent celebrities.

Matthews and his wife Ashley moved to Seattle in 2001 so she could attend medical school. Since then, the artist has considered this city home and is raising a family here.  The actor/songwriter can be seen at locations around his Wallingford home.

“I just feel that for so many reasons, this is a really unique American city,” said Matthews in a phone interview with Seattle PI reporter Gene Stout.

In the same interview Stout also noted that Matthews has grown quite fond of Seattle’s political fever and social consciousness.

In 2005, keeping in tradition with Seattle’s worldview and philanthropic nature, Matthews used The Dave Matthews Band (DMB) as a platform to touch on global social issues like global warming and global economic disparity.  According to the band’s website, “DMB created the Bama Works Village Recovery Fund and partnered with CARE in early 2005 in response to the December 2004 tsunami… in Sri Lanka.”

Most popular for his role as front man in The Dave Matthews Band, the Johannesburg-born musician came to America after high school and was introduced to jazz at a bar where he worked in Charlottesville, Virginia.  After establishing himself in music, he broadened his objectives.

The two-time Grammy winner entered the political realm in early 2001, not as a politician, but rather through posting a passionate YouTube video urging viewers to vote. It was not until the Vote for Change tour in 2004 that Matthews began his open support of political candidate John Kerry, and again in 2008 with President Obama.

Politics aside, Matthews has fallen in love with not only Seattle, but the Pacific Northwest. Matthews’ first performance at the Gorge in the early 1990s hooked the band, and they have made it one of their premier destinations since. Matthews even told the crowd in his 2004 “The Gorge” CD/DVD that the venue was “heaven’s amphitheater.”

According to the DMB website, the group is scheduled to perform at the Gorge again on September 2, 2011.