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Nathan East performing in 2005
|Birth name||Nathan Harrell East|
8 December 1955 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Genres||Jazz, R&B, rock|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, bass guitar, double bass, cello|
|Associated acts||Fourplay, Eric Clapton, Toto, Daft Punk|
Nathan Harrell East (born December 8, 1955, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a jazz, R&B and rock bass player and vocalist. East holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of California, San Diego (1978). He is a member of smooth jazz quartet Fourplay and has recorded, performed and co-written songs with performers such as Eric Clapton, Joe Satriani, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder, Toto and Herbie Hancock.
Born to Thomas and Gwendolyn East, he is one of eight children (five boys and three girls) raised in San Diego, California, 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 an accomplished amateur magician.
East has recorded, performed and co-written songs with Anita Baker, Babyface, B.B. King, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Savage Garden, Sting, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Kenny Loggins, The Manhattan Transfer, and Herbie Hancock. He 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 classic song "Tears In Heaven" (1992). East, a long-time 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 also on tour with TOTO 2012 again in Europe. He is listed as member on the official site of Toto for the 35th tour in 2013.
East has endorsed Yamaha instruments since 1981 and developed his own custom 5-string signature model in 1995, the BBNE2 (modeled after his early 1980s BB415 5-string bass). He has used a custom 6-string version of his signature bass since late 2003, along with an LB-1 Motion 5-string bass and a pair of 6-string TRB6P models finished in Faded Cherry Sunburst with gold hardware and Polar White with satin black hardware, both featuring a high-mass bridge with piezo saddles for acoustic upright tones and created with Yamaha the NE1 Parametric EQ Pedal, otherwise known as the "Magic Box".
East has received a range of awards from music industry associations including The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors most prestigious Ivor Novello Award for co-writing the Collins/Bailey classic hit "Easy Lover", Most Valuable Player (bass category) at the International Rock Awards and three time Bassist of the Year at the U.S. National Smooth Jazz Awards, N.A.R.A.S. MVP (bassist), ASCAP Awards for most performed work. In 2007, Nathan was honored by the United States Congress and awarded a Congressional Record for his contribution to the worldwide music community.
East is also credited on numerous soundtracks including Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Crossroads, Tarzan, Waiting to Exhale, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Preacher's Wife, Phenomenon, One Fine Day, Lethal Weapon 2, Lethal Weapon 3, Rush, Escape From L.A., Something to Talk About, Brewster's Millions, Thelma & Louise and Footloose.
- East produced an instructional DVD called "The Business of Bass" by Hal Leonard Publishing.
- East appears in many Eric Clapton concert DVDs, including 24 Nights, MTV Unplugged, One More Car, One More Rider and various others such as Live at Montreux.
- East was a participant in Star Licks Productions’, All-Star Bass Series.
- Smooth Jazz Notes Interview
- All Music Complete Discography
- The Business of Bass DVD
- Musician's Friend Exclusive Interview
- Mix Magazine Article
- Bass Player Magazine Article
- Wire Image Photos
- YAMAHA Artist
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