Happy Birthday to Nathan Harrell East – born December 8, 1955!
Nathan Harrell East (born December 8, 1955) is an American jazz, R&B and rock bass player and vocalist. With more than 2,000 recordings, East is considered one of the most recorded bass players in the history of music. East holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of California, San Diego (1978). He is a founding member of contemporary jazz quartet Fourplay and has recorded, performed and co-written songs with performers such as Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Joe Satriani, George Harrison, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Toto, Daft Punk, and Herbie Hancock.
Nathan Harrell East was born on December 8, 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Thomas and Gwendolyn East, he is one of eight children (five boys and three girls) raised in San Diego, where the family moved when he was four. East first studied cello in seventh through ninth grades and played in local Horace Mann junior high school’s orchestra. At age fourteen he developed an interest in the bass guitar, playing in church (Christ The King) for folk masses with his brothers Raymond and David. He was active in his (Crawford) high school’s music programs along with a local top 40 band called “Power”. He has said his early influences included Charles Mingus, Ray Brown and Ron Carter on upright bass; and James Jamerson, Paul McCartney and Chuck Rainey on electric bass. He studied music at UC San Diego. Nathan East is also an accomplished amateur magician member of The Magic Castle and the Academy of Magical Arts.
East has recorded, performed and co-written songs with Barry White, Anita Baker, The Love Unlimited Orchestra, Babyface, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Elton John, Laura Pausini, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bryan Ferry, Savage Garden, Sting, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Kenny Loggins, The Manhattan Transfer, Herbie Hancock & Daft Punk. In 2013, he recorded the bass line of the 2013 hit “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, which won the Grammies for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance (2014). ‘Get Lucky’ has sold over 7.5 million copies. East also composed the music for the Number one hit song “Easy Lover” for Phil Collins and Philip Bailey.
He performed on the Grammy Award-winning Unplugged album with Eric Clapton which featured the song “Tears in Heaven” (1992). East, a member of Eric Clapton’s studio and touring bands since the early 1980s also played on Clapton’s “Change the World” which won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1997. Other DVDs and videos Nathan appears on include Babyface Unplugged (1997), Phil Collins’ “Live & Loose in Paris” (1998), Eric Clapton’s 24 Nights (1991), One More Car, One More Rider (2001), Crossroads Guitar Festival (2004), Fourplay “Live in Cape Town (2006), Andrea Bocelli’s, Vivere Live in Tuscany (2007) and David Foster & Friends (2008).
East was invited to play at We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2009, with a cast of luminaries of all genres of music.
East is one of the original members of the contemporary jazz group Fourplay, along with Bob James (keyboards), Lee Ritenour on guitar (later replaced by Larry Carlton and Chuck Loeb) and Harvey Mason (drums). Their Grammy Award-nominated albums have earned platinum status, and have topped Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts.
In early 2010, East was invited to join American Grammy Award-winning rock band Toto on their reunion tour to benefit member Mike Porcaro, who had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Another tour took place in the summer of 2011 with East once again playing. He was with the band during their summer tour in 2012. He is listed as a member on the official site of Toto as of 2013. East rejoined Eric Clapton’s band for a series of concerts in Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Dubai in February and March 2014 and again for the Madison Square Garden and Royal Albert Hall concerts of May, 2015.
In June 2012 he launched the Online Electric Bass School with Nathan East as a part of the ArtistWorks Bass Campus. www.nathaneastbass.com
Nathan East released his first ever debut self-titled solo album on March 25, 2014 on Yamaha Entertainment Group label with guest appearances by Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Kazumasa Oda, Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Ray Parker, Jr., David Paich and his 13-year-old son Noah East.
More on Nathans Life Here.