A dynamic lead bass player from Kansas City, bassist Julian Vaughn has made an international name for himself since 2010 as a bassist in the smooth jazz which is dominated by an artist who plays sax. 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 the bass guitar that another man in his church was playing and immediately fell in love. This truly loved 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.
Julian Vaughn has toured all over the U.S. playing at some of the largest jazz festivals and abroad in places like Dubai, Nairobi, Italy, Spain, and Germany. As an artist, he debuts on the scene in 2010 with his CD titled “The Purpose Project” an album that would later pave the way to his 2012 album “Breakthrough”. Vaughn has had 2 number ones on the Billboards. His hit single “On Your Feet” made head waves as the #1 most added out of the box on the Jazz Billboards Chart and stayed there for 3 weeks along with the single “Ride Along” which debut at number 1 from his CD titled “Limitless” in 2015. In 2017 Vaughn released his 4th record titled “Bona Fide”. Bona Fide ended up delivering 3 top 5 Billboard singles including “18th & Vine which was selected as the #7 single out of the top 100 songs of 2018 on Billboards. Vaughn is expecting to release his 5th album in April 2019, which he says will be his best! Vaughn takes pride in being able to write and produce most of his music. “I want to be known as a great writer and producer just as much as I am an artist”. As Vaughn’s recording catalog continues to grow he still wants to continue to redefine the lead bassist role in the smooth jazz genre.
Supreme (2019) Bona Fide (2017) Hey Lester (2017) Limitless (2015) Breakthrough(2012) The Purpose Project (2010) Behind The Scenes(2006)
Julian Vaughn #3
Julian brings it on! He is #3 on my Smooth Jazz Top 20 Countdown for the week of February 15, 2020.
Why WRIP - Ripped Radio Smooth Jazz? Well, I love the music. For me, it is the perfect mix to drive by, to think by, to work by, to play by, and to chill by. It inspires, soothes, and quiets the soul. Enjoy! - Ronnie J.