homas Jefferson loved to jam.
A skilled violinist, he savored sessions with other musicians at Monticello as well as in the Academical Village.
For him, music was “an enjoyment, the deprivation of which … cannot be calculated,” he wrote in 1785. Much later, in the twilight of his life, Jefferson added, “Music is invaluable where a person has an ear. It furnishes a delightful recreation for the hours of respite from the cares of the day, and lasts us through life.”
Though he could hardly have foreseen the path that music would take, not only in society but also at U.Va., it’s not hard to imagine a winsome smile on his lips if he could have seen the Skip Castro Band, SGGL, Baaba Seth, Dave Matthews Band or Sons of Bill rocking the Grounds over the years.
The music of those bands and others has helped define the student experience at U.Va. for generations. For some, the sweaty grind of tight spaces and pulsing music fueled many a memorable evening at fraternity parties and Charlottesville clubs. For others, a warm spring afternoon listening to indie bands in the McIntire Amphitheater has provided equal pleasure. .
The following pages provide a visual stroll through some magical moments provided by bands that have made their mark on the music scene at the University and beyond. Some have faded into nostalgia; some have risen to stardom; all have shared a passion for music that resonates across time.