Chances are you’ve listened to UC San Diego alumnus Nathan East all your life. You just may not know it — yet. East is one of the world’s top bass guitarists, a Grammy nominee who has played with the likes of jazz, rock and pop royalty from Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton, to Paul McCartney and Beyoncé.
The 1978 UCSD grad (a native of San Diego and graduate of Crawford High School) will return to his alma mater for a one-time public performance “Eastbound: Home” 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, in the Conrad Prebys Concert Hall on UCSD campus.
Proceeds will be used for scholarships for students attending UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College who graduated from The Preuss School UCSD, a charter school for low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college.
East’s concert arrives on the heels of a performance for millions around the globe at the 56th annual Grammy Awards Jan. 26, where he will join Daft Punk to perform their chart-topping hit, “Get Lucky,” along with Pharrell and Stevie Wonder. East provided the baseline for the song, which is nominated for 2013 Record of the Year.
The UCSD appearance will feature East performing with local jazz musicians and friends, members of his family, and former UCSD professors including Cecil Lytle. The event is part of the annual Lytle Benefit Concert series, which raises funds for undergraduate scholarships—a cause that is especially close to East’s heart.
“In addition to playing with the likes of Clapton and Madonna, East has topped Billboard jazz charts with his band Fourplay, and will release his first solo album, ‘Nathan East,” on March 25. East began his music career as a teen when he was hired by Barry White for a national tour. He became a member of the Love Unlimited Orchestra playing Madison Square Garden, the Apollo Theater and other major venues.
In 1978, East earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from UCSD. He began work on a master’s degree when instructor Bertram Turetzky suggested he already had enough education and it was time for him to move to Los Angeles to start his lucrative music career.
“The rest, as they say, is history,” said Lytle, who is a former professor and friend.
Tickets are $75, $60 for alumni, $20 for students with ID (students from all schools welcome). Parking is free. Tickets will be held at the door. For more information and registration, visit rels.ucsd.edu or call (858) 534-1507.