Stefan K. Lessard is an American musician, most famous as the bassist for the Dave Matthews Band.
Lessard was born in Anaheim, California, to musician Ron and Jacqueline Lessard. After moving a number of times during his childhood, Lessard and his family eventually settled in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1987. They had previously lived from 1980–84 in Buckingham County, Virginia and in Richmond, Virginia from 1984–86.
After moving back to Charlottesville from Madison, Wi. in 1987, he enrolled in the Tandem School, where he studied music under trumpeter John D’earth and bassist Peter Spaar. D’earth and Spaar recommended Lessard to Dave Matthews for inclusion in his new band, which was looking for a bassist. Lessard joined Dave Matthews Band just as it was forming, when he was sixteen years old. Due to his age, he sometimes had to sneak in the back door of the clubs where the band was playing.
Lessard completed his junior year of high school then took the GED (summer of ’91) as he had already been accepted at Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University in their Jazz Studies program. He left after six weeks, when it became evident that he could not be a full-time college student & a member of a band, already rising in popularity. In 2006, Lessard began maintaining a MySpace page called LowenDude. He also owns and maintains a blog at izstyle.com. During the 2007 European Tour, Lessard also began a video blog on YouTube.
On January 9, 2008, Lessard performed with members of Guster and Barenaked Ladies under the name Yukon Kornelius in a benefit concert sponsored by Okemo Mountain Resort, a ski resort in Vermont. Later that year, he co-wrote the original music for Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk.
Lessard married long-time girlfriend Josie Baucom in 1997. They had one son together, “Diggy” Elijah Diego (born January 9, 1998) and lost a daughter, Aslan, to SIDS in 1996. They divorced in 2004.
In October 2005 he married Jaclyn Burton, and together they have three daughters, Hazel Bailey (born March 6, 2004), Flora Jude (born July 13, 2006), and India (born November 2015).
On November 29, 2007, Lessard’s home in western Albemarle County, Virginia, burned down, with a loss estimated at over 2 million dollars. It took over 40 firefighters from five different fire departments to extinguish the blaze. The origin of the fire is unknown, but the Albemarle County Fire Marshall’s Office cites the structure’s cedar shake siding as a contributor to the rapid spread of the fire. Lessard and his son were home at the time of the fire, though they escaped unharmed.
Lessard plays a variety of bass guitars, including those made by Nordstrand, Modulus, Warwick, Ken Smith Basses, and hand-made Stambaugh Custom Basses. On the Dave Matthews Band album Busted Stuff, he plays piano, Hammond organ, and Dobro guitar.
Bootleg Hunington Series
- 1968 Fender P-Bass
- Thomastik-Infeld Power Bass Strings
- Ampeg SVT-2 and SVT-4 Pro Heads
- Ampeg 8×10 and 2×15 Bass Cabinets
- Furman PL-8 Power Conditioner
- Shure U4D-UB Wireless Units
- Eventide GTR-7000 Ultra-Harmonizer
- Whirlwind 4ch Multi Selector
- Korg DTR-1 Digital Tuner
- Rane SM26B Splitter/Mixer
- Moog Taurus 3 Pedal
- “Beautifully Broken” (featuring Stefan Lessard) (2001) – Gov’t Mule’s The Deep End, Vol. 1
- “Burning Star” (featuring Stefan Lessard) (2012) – Pete Kilpatrick Band’s Heavy Fire