Born: August 18, 1952 Primary Instrument: Bass, electric
Vaughn Bratcher put down his Cornet and picked up his first Electric Bass Guitar at the age of 13. From there he went on to perform with a family teenaged group “The Uniques” in the late 60’s. He played in church and with local R&B bands through high school and college. While at Towson State University, he met Gregg Hatza, a Baltimore based pianist/organist who instructed piano theory and harmony at the college but also was the leader of a Latin/Jazz group “Moon August”.
Vaughn recorded one album with the group. After several years with Moon August, Vaughn went on to”Free-Lance” as a bassist with some of Baltimore and Washington, DC’s area talent. He had the fortune in the late 70’s to perform with Al Green, Betty Wright, Doris Duke, Z.Z. Hill, and later in his career with Gospel Legends Dorthy Norwood and Shirley Caesar. In the mid 80’s, Vaughn performed with some of the “Young Lions” of the Jazz scene such as Jazz pianists Cyrus Chestnut and George Colligan. Vaughn also played with Saxophonist’s Gary Thomas and Steve Carrington, as well as guitarist Paul Bollenback.
Other than Electric Bass, Vaughn has briefly studied privately on double bass (upright bass) with one of the chair bassists with the Baltimore Symphony and with Steve Novasel, a well regarded D.C. Jazz bassist. Vaughn has performed at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival in Delaware, the Kunta Kinte African Festival in Annapolis MD, and the Annual Chestertown Jazz Festival in Maryland. He has performed with various “Straight Ahead” and “Smooth Jazz Ensembles”, as well as contemporary gospel with a mass Choir.
Vaughn wrote, produced and recorded his own CD titled “The Pleasures Yours,” which received air play on Morgan State University’s WEAA radio as well as Washington, D.C.’s Alternative Jazz radio station WPFW. Vaughn received a recognition award from the John Lennon, songwriting contest (in the Latin/ Jazz category), for his composition “Island Flow”. His major influences on the Electric Bass have been Larry Graham, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorious and Anthony Jackson. “I want to grab the listeners heart and soul either by grooving them (it’s gotta groove) or laying it down soft and sweet” says the bassist.