Lessard performing in October, 2008
|Birth name||Stefan Kahil Lessard|
June 4, 1974 |
|Instruments||Bass, Upright Bass, Acoustic Bass, Guitar|
|Associated acts||Dave Matthews Band, Yukon Kornelius|
Lessard was born in Anaheim, California, to musicians Ron and Janaki 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 1980-1984 in Buckingham County, Virginia and in Richmond, Virginia from 1984-1986.
After moving to Charlottesville, he enrolled in the Tandem Friends School, where he studied music under trumpeter John D'earth. D'earth 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 before dropping out in favor of a music career, and was accepted at Richmond's Virginia Commonwealth University in its jazz studies program. He left after six weeks, when it became evident that he could not keep up with school work while continuing with the band.
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 two daughters, Hazel Bailey (born March 6, 2004) and Flora Jude (born July 13, 2006).
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 Modulus, Warwick, Ken Smith Basses, and hand-made Jon Hill Custom Basses, currently known as Bootleg Guitars. On the Dave Matthews Band album Busted Stuff, he plays piano, Hammond organ, and Dobro guitar.
- 1968 Fender P-Bass
- Thomastik-Infeld Power Bass Strings
- Ampeg SVT-2 and SVT-4 Pro Heads
- Ampeg 8x10 and 2x15 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
- Nagy, Liz (2007-11-29). "Fire at Home of DMB's Bass Guitarist". WVIR-TV. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- "Dave Matthews Band's Bassist's Home Catches Fire". WCAV-TV (Gray Television, Inc.). 2007-11-29. Retrieved 2009-03-08.