Julian Vaughn

musician composer arranger producer



Born and raised in St Louis, Missouri (USA), Julian is the only musician in his family. Growing up in a city synonymous with great music was his defining influence. He spent his childhood beating on anything he could find to resonate the music within, including his mother’s pots and pans, chairs and tables. At twelve years old Julian began his musical journey when his mom brought home his first drum-set and enrolled him at his local music school.

At fifteen, he started to earn recognition playing in clubs with local musicians. At seventeen he received a call from a good friend, a fellow musician who was playing with Albert King, invited Julian to join them on tour as their drummer. The first time playing in a touring band, it was an unparalleled experience for a 17 year old boy from St Louis. A couple of years passed by playing to audiences all around the world until Julian got another call, this time from the legendary B.B. King who asked him to substitute and join them on a year long tour, another phenomenal experience.

I couldn’t have asked for a better school of Blues than playing with Albert King and B.B.King

Ironically the next call came from Ron Levy, the ex piano player of B.B. King, who called Julian to join his band in Boston Mass. Here he discovered the plethora of great conservatories and music teachers the city of Boston had to offer. Julian began his studies at the Berkley School of Music and studied alongside the great drummer Alan Dawson for 3 years. During that time he also met and collaborated with such esteemed musicians as Donald Harrison (saxophonist), Mike Stern (guitarist), Dave Kikoski (pianist), Jeff Tain Watts (drummer), Marvin “Smitty” Smith (drummer) and blues musicians Otis Rush, Little Walter and Johnny Copeland.

It is in Boston where he also made his first album recording with the late great Johnny Copeland The Copeland Special. This recording went on to win the coveted W.C. Handy’s Best Blues Album of the Year award.

After studying and playing in Boston for four years, Julian embarked on a new adventure and moved to New York to become a touring musician with Johnny Copeland. Whilst living in the Big Apple Julian also joined the Jimmy McGriff Band as well as playing stints with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jack McDuff, Charles Earland, Kenny Garrett, Joseph Bowie's group "Defunct Lester Bowie" and Arthur Blythe.

Whilst touring the world Julian found that Barcelona, Spain was the place he would lay his hat and call home. During his time in Barcelona he performed with touring artists like Joe Newman Sr., Charles Thompsons, Lou Blackburn, Al Casey, Tete Monteliu and many others. He recorded with popular acid jazz group The Princes of Times and has played at Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland,) North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Nancy Jazz Festival (France), and Umbria Jazz Festival (Perugia, Italy).

In 2017 Julian will release his CD "Hey Lester" under the record label "Fresh Sound Records"

Julian currently resides in Barcelona and continues to record and tour extensively all over Europe. As of lately he is touring with his Jazz Quartet Visions and Organ Quartet Organised Noise.


Nació en Saint Louis, Missouri (USA). Julian es el único músico de la familia. Haber nacido en una ciudad en la que la música se respira en el ambiente influenció indiscutíblemente a Julian, que empezó a practicar con todo lo que encontraba, ollas y sartenes incluídas, hasta que su madre le regaló su primera batería a los 12 años.

A los 15 años de edad Julian empezó a ser reconocido tocandoen clubs con algunas bandas de soul, funk y jazz. A los 17 años, un amigo le ofreció hacer una gira con el gran guitarrista de blues Albert King, con quién hizo un tour durante 4 años alrededor de Estados Unidos, Japón y Europa. Fué unos años después cuando recibió otra llamada, ésta vez le surgió la oportunidad de trabajar durante dos años junto al “rey del Blues”, el gran B.B.King, con el que también viajó por el mundo, forjándose un nombre dentro del circuito de Blues internacional de alto nivel.

No podría haber pedido una mejor escuela de Blues, estos dos artistas (Albert King y B.B.King) me enseñaron la base de la música para el resto de mi vida

Irónicamente, la siguiente llamada fue de el ex pianista de B.B.King, Ron Levy para invitarle a Boston Mass, donde él vivía. Allí descubrió la gran cantidad de conservatorios de música y se incribió en el conservatorio de música de Berkley School of Music con el gran maestro Alan Dawson. Durante esa época tuvo la oportunidad de tocar junto a muchos músicos de Jazz como Donald Harrison (saxofonista), Mike Stern, Dave Kikoski (pianista), Jeff Tain Watts (batería), Marvin Smitty Smith (batería)… y músicos de blues como Otis Rush, Little Walter y Johnny Copeland.

Junto a Johnny Copeland hizo varias giras y grabó el disco “Copeland Special”, ganador del premio W.C.Handy a mejor álbum de Blues.

Varios años después Julian se mudó a Nueva York, donde empezó a tocar junto a Arthur Blythe, Kenny Garrett, Defunkt (la banda de Joseph Bowie), Lester Bowie, Jack McDuff, Louis Smith y Jimmy McGriff. Jimmy McGriff le dió la oportunidad de tocar junto a Stanley Turrentine, Jame Moody, Hank Crawford.

En una de sus giras por España, un agente le ofreció un trabajo que no pudo rechazar y fue así como decidió dejar la gran manzana para mudarse a España. Se estableció en Barcelona y formó sus propias bandas de Jazz y Funk. Estuvo de gira junto a George Adams (saxofonista), Joe Newman (trompetista), Johnny Guitar Watson, Lou Blackburn (trombón), Gene Connors, Al Casey Guitar y Tete Montoliu.

Julian Vaughn ha tocado en festivales como el Pori Jazz Festival de Finlandia, Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Festival, Nancy France Jazz Festival, Umbri en Perugia (Italia) y muchos más.

En 2017Julian presentará su nuevo proyecto "Hey Lester" bajo el sello disquera "Fresh Sound Records"


Photographer: Selector Marx