Greg Vaughan was born and raised in San Diego, California. He started performing at age 5 in a hand-balancing act with is father Glen Vaughan, a gymnastics coach. By the age of 8, he had already performed in front of tens of thousands of people at venues in California and Mexico. At the age of 9, he started performing as an actor, singer, and dancer with various theater groups in California. This led to the opportunity to share the stage with movie great John Carradine (Grapes Of Wrath). He started doing vocal session work on commercials and jingles at the age of 10. At age 11 he starred in a television commercial for Yamaha keyboards. Having started piano lessons at age 9 he picked up the guitar at age 12. At age 14 he had a life-changing experience watching Stevie Ray Vaughan perform at the Del Mar Fair. At age 16 – feeling he needed to choose between his 3 great passions of acting, music, and martial arts – he decided to focus on music. After high school, he graduated from the vocal program at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, CA. He then went on to play in everything from alternative rock, Latin jazz, jam bands, country and reggae to heavy metal bands.
Having started teaching guitar at age 16, Greg officially opened his guitar school The Temple Of The Sacred String in 2003. He has since taught over 100 students, many of whom work as professional musicians. His unique teaching approach draws on his interest in martial arts and eastern philosophy. In 2005 Greg won first place in Guitar Center’s Guitarmageddon Competition for San Diego County. In May 2006 he achieved his teenage dream of studying and performing with legendary Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth at his Sky Academy in Los Angeles. He went on to study and perform with him again in 2007 and 2008. In 2006 Greg released his solo album “Way Of the Sacred String.” It features 12 original hard rock and pop songs. This was followed in 2008 by his neo-classical rock guitar album “Dragon Whips His Tail.” Greg performed all the instruments. The songs focus on different technical and composition ideas and are intended to be study pieces for his students. Mastery of these songs is considered the final level of his “Way Of The Sacred String” teaching system.
In January of 2006, Greg played his first show with his Gypsy Rock band Danyavaad and the Shimmy Sisters. The Middle Eastern and Indian-flavored group features Greg on vocals/baby sitar/saz/cumbus/sueng, Gabriel Penix on percussion/vocals/guitar, Sandi Bagri (DJ Sandbag) on bass, and Oren Shoval on Violin. They are joined by the Bellydance troupe the Shimmy Sisters featuring Adelaide and Leilainia. The group has performed at clubs, restaurants, private parties, corporate events, and festivals in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Florida, and Mexico. In December of 2008, they released their 2 Disc CD/DVD package “March Of The Gypsies.” In June of 2010, they were featured on America’s Got Talent on NBC. On October 31st, 2011 they appeared on The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills on BRAVO. The episode also featured 4 original Danyavaad songs. In May 2014 they released their second album “Nine Levels Of Bliss.” In 2015 they appeared in the EMMY Award winning short film “Anything But Frogs.”
In January 2011 Greg made his debut as “Mikey Stripey” in the R.E.M. Tribute Band MURMUR. Being that Michael Stipe has been a hero of Greg’s since age 13, he jumped at the chance to impersonate him when contacted by Musiczirconia – The Largest Tribute Band Agency in the US. Giving him the opportunity to roam the stage as a frontman, guitar duties in the band are handled by Greg’s student Tyler Marderosian.
In Dec 2015 Greg did his first performance with Electric Warrior – A Tribute To T.REX. Singing and playing guitar while fronting a 6 piece band, Electric Warrior gives him the opportunity to perform the songs of one of his other favorite bands from his teen years. Also in 2015, his instrumental guitar track “Thunderfoot” was used on the Discovery Channel program “Rusted Development.” The show starred Former Pro Wrestler and World Champion Chuck Palumbo. He played guitar along with Greg on the track. Chuck is a former student of Greg’s. Tony Perry, another former student, has gone on to worldwide success with his original rock band Pierce The Veil. He has also been featured in Guitar World magazine.
In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Greg performed classical and pop music as a vocalist and guitarist along with acclaimed Cellist Kihae Kim and her students at their annual recital in Long Beach, CA. Having performed on countless albums and soundtracks since the 1970’s her credits include The Original Star Wars soundtrack. Greg’s collaboration with Kihae has led to his interest in the composer Burgmuller and he hopes to someday stage a San Diego concert of pieces for guitar and cello.
Having written over 500 songs, Greg is still working on several different styles of music and album projects. He continues working on his Sacred String instructional guitar book and preparing Sacred String music and philosophy workshops. He has published 2 “Tales Of the Wizard” articles in the bellydance magazine Zaghareet and wants to write for other publications as well. He also has dreams of one day working as an actor again.
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