“To sum up how I am, I’m a groove merchant, always searching for a groove. That’s my mission – to find the grooves, me grabbing it and locking it in. Every time I play, I want to be able to capture it.”
Larry Vann has made an impressive mark on the Bay Area music scene over the years with his authentic, piercing, all-encompassing musical technique. Authentic “root music”, the essential substance of his artistic source, is the foundation of this superbly seasoned artist’s own music branding, which fuses the essence of soul-stirring blues, sweet, mellow jazz and genuine soul, R&B and funk. One listen to his compelling, penetrating and intoxicating grooves clearly demonstrates why he has been in such huge demand for sessions & tours with the likes of ELVIN BISHOP and MERL SAUNDERS. His top-notch drumming and percussion has garnered him popular and critical success throughout the United States and Europe, and Vann has also wowed critics and crowds alike with his sultry singing voice, buoyed by his melodic, inventive songwriting.
A professional performer since age 15, Vann draws from a deep well of musical influence, including gospel, blues, funk, jazz and soul. These various genres have collectively shared his unique sound, his groove “brand”, which is in full display in his performances and music recordings.
Vann’s resume’ reads like a “Who’s Who” list, having toured and recorded with those musicians listed above, as well as THE WHISPERS, MARTHA REEVES, THE MARVALETTES, CHARLES BROWN, BUFFY SAINT-MARIE, RANDY CRAWFORD and many more. His work with the popular San Francisco Bay Area blues group, RON THOMPSON & THE RESISTORS contributed to the band earning two Bay Area Music Awards (BAMMY).
His impressive career also includes a motion picture role as a nightclub band member in the Academy Award nominated “Peggy Sue Got Married” and being featured on the ABC Television San Francisco local affiliate, KGO for his work with “GRAMMY In The Schools” as a mentor and instructor. World tours with jazz pianist, BRIAN AUGER and blues harp legend CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE round out a phenomenal career in music making.
The true power of the “Groove Merchant” is exhibited in his latest musical creation, the “Oakland Scratch Groove”. This groove is a true reflection of Mr. Vann’s talent as he offers his brand of penetrating, soulful, authentic “root music” grooves.
Vann’s honors and awards include:
• The Blues Society’s West Coast Hall of Fame, “Blues Drummer of the Year ” award
• The Jazz Institute’s “Man of the Year” award
He is also Governor Emeritus, San Francisco chapter of The Recording Academy® (GRAMMY).
“When a band locks down on a groove, it’s powerful. It can become hypnotic. It gets people dancing, excited. Once you’ve experienced that, you’re always in search of it.”