Nathan East

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Bassist Nathan East was born December 8, 1955 in Philadelphia, PA to Thomas and Gwendolyn East, one of seven children, 5 boys, 2 girls. San Diego has been always considered home, although Nate lived in Philadelphia until age the 4 when the family moved west.

The first instrument Nate played was not the bass but the cello, which he played from 7th - 9th grade in his Jr. High school orchestra. It wasn't until the age of 14, that he discovered bass guitar ; playing in local church groups with his brothers in San Diego, folk masses, etc.. He played in the high school jazz ensemble, marching band, choir, chorus, pep band and top 40 bands. Nate's inspirations were Ron Carter & Ray Brown on upright bass. Also Mingus, Buster Williams and Scott LaFaro.

Nate's first influences include a long list of talented musicians....Wes Montgomery, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Canonball Adderley, George Benson, Bob James, Harvey Mason, Lee Ritenour, Jimi Hendrix, Santana.

His favorite Groups include Earth Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Kool & the Gang, James Brown Band, Beatles, Cream, Sly and the Family Stone. Motown Groups......

Favorite Bassists: James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey, Paul Mc Cartney, Larry Graham, Verdine White, Jaco Pastorius, Francis Rocco Prestia, Jack Bruce, Sting, Stanley Clark, Abe Laboriel, Marcus Miller.

Nate's two younger brothers, James East is the bassist with Sergio Mendes and Marcel East, is a guitarist/songwriter/producer working on group with Nathan called Two Faces of East. Nathan's oldest brother Raymond is Pastor/Monsignor of Church of the Nativity in Washington DC and an excellent vocalist.

Nathan holds a private pilots license and enjoys flying, skiing, tennis and performing magic.

Nate has recorded, performed and co-written songs with artists such as Anita Baker, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Babyface, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, David Benoit and co-wrote the #1 hit song " Easy Lover" with Phil Collins & Philip Bailey.

Nathan's background in Jazz and Popular music has earned him numerous awards including most valuable player (bass catagory) at the International Rock Awards. He is co-founder of contemporary jazz group Fourplay (Warner Bros) along with Bob James (keyboards), Lee Ritenour (guitar) and Harvey Mason (drums). Their Grammy nominated albums have earned Gold status and continue to top the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts.

Nathan has developed his own Signature Series bass guitar for YAMAHA which is available in stores now.

Current releases include Eric Clapton's, If I could Change the World, also various cuts from Disney Phonomon Soundtrack, Toni Braxton, Lionel Richie, Sergio Mendes, Waiting To ExhaleSoundtrack, Babyface, Phil Collins due this fall. Recording of new Clapton studio album beginning Sept. 96.

Nathan's wife, Anita (a pediatrician) is featured in the February '98 1998 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine for being the "Fun & Fearless Female" of 1998 (last year's FFF was Broke Sheilds)

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from University of California San Diego.

Bio courtesy of
Nathan East - Contemporary Electric Bass
Nathan East Contempory Electric Bass

Related Nathan East Resources

  1. Nathan East - The Official Website (5.0 Stars · 1 Review)
    Musicians: Musician Websites · 6123 Hits · Posted on 4/27/2000 by ActiveBass

  2. Good Bass playing by Nathan East. Just solid and exactly what is required. I learn a great deal from studying his choice of notes and riffs. Recommended
    Recordings: Blues · 2261 Hits · Posted on 7/17/2000 by John Ciriani
ActiveBass shared a news item about Nathan East
Sep 21 2015

Nathan East and Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister to Headline Bass Player Live! 2015 (9/21/2015)
Bass Player Magazine returns for its eighth year in Los Angeles with the premier live bass-guitar event, Bass Player LIVE! 2015. The event, which takes place November 7 and November 8 at SIR Studios, 6465 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, California, fea...
ActiveBass shared a news item about Nathan East
Nov 29 2012

Interview: Bassist Nathan East Discusses Fourplay's New Album and His Days with Eric Clapton (11/29/2012)
With more than 20 years together and a dozen records under their belts, Nathan East and the members of Fourplay show no signs of slowing down. The quartet’s latest release, Esprit De Four, continues the trend of exceptional musicianship and song...
Steven Arnott (548) published/updated a lesson about Nathan East
Jun 26 2002

Funky Range-builder This is a line that wouldn't sound out of place in a disco in the late 70's.
Funk/R&B · Intermediate · 3824 Hits · 4.64/5 (11 ratings) · Last modified: 6/26/2002
I published a feature about Nathan East
Jan 4 2001

Layin It Down With Nathan East
Nathan East, one of the world's busiest bass players, talks with Chris Tarry about influences, attitude, touring, presidential inaugurations, and more!
<font color="#003333"><b>Chris Tarry:</b> Hi Nathan and thanks for spending some time here with us here at I have been a fan of your playing and career for many years! Tell us a little bit about how you started playing the bass...(more)