Vinson grew up in a musical family near Washington, D.C., studying classical piano from age seven until switching to the jazz drums when he was 12. He played drums for three years in the All-County Jazz Ensemble during high school and subsequently held the drum chair in the University of Pennsylvania Big Band during college. After graduating from UPENN with a B.A. in Economics, Vinson made New York City his home in the early 90's to study music at the Mannes College of Music in Manhattan, where he studied with Marvin "Smitty" Smith (former drummer of The Tonight Show Band), Vernel Fournier, and Norm Freeman (formerly of the New York Philharmonic).
In 20+ years on New York City jazz scene, Vinson released four CDs under his name on his non-profit music label, Consilience Productions. Since becoming a professional musician in the early '90s, he has taught privately and at jazz camps, such as the Stanford Jazz Workshop from 1999-2001.