A dynamic lead bass player from Kansas City, bassist Julian Vaughn is rapidly becoming a major player in the contemporary jazz genre. Vaughn has made a name for himself as bassist in the smooth jazz genre which is dominated by saxophone players. Although the bass is often associated with funk, Vaughn likes to play with more of a finesse style as well as some funk.
Vaughn grew up in the church where his grandfather pastored until turning over the reins to Vaughn’s father. Like other kids at the church, he began his music career playing the drums, but says, “Trying to play the drums at church was like ten football players going after a fumble. Everyone wanted to play.” Years went by and the fight over the drums got old. At 15 Vaughn decided to try a different instrument. He picked up a bass guitar that another man in his church was playing and immediately fell in love. This was truly love at first sight. Vaughn taught himself how to play and soon realized he had the ability to play by ear. He soon discovered how to play songs and special techniques. When Vaughn was 19 his grandfather bought him a 6-string bass guitar. It was black with gold trim. He discovered the art of bass soloing and knew at that point it was more than just a hobby but was his life’s passion. “My friends use to get on me because I would stop playing the bass line and start soloing,” he remembers.