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Homegrown Musician Performs With Daft Punk At Grammys

Above: Bass guitarist Nathan East has played with Beyonce, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. He grew up in San Diego.

French duo Daft Punk's album "Random Access Memories" is nominated for Album of the Year.

Aired 1/24/14 on KPBS News.

A musician who grew up in San Diego will be on stage this weekend at the Grammy Awards. The bass guitarist had a role in one of the biggest hits of the year.

During the Grammy Awards ceremony this Sunday, guitarist Nathan East will perform the bass line in a song that was hard to escape in 2013.

Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” is nominated for best performance by a pop duo. Their album "Random Access Memories" is nominated for album of the year. East is a veteran session musician and plays on a lot of the songs on Daft Punk’s album, including "Get Lucky."

He says the French duo, pioneers in the electronic music scene, were really fun to work with. They were also very particular about the sound on each song.

"Every groove is meticulously looked at and honed," East said by phone from Los Angeles.

Born in Philadelphia, East moved to San Diego with his family at age 4, went to Crawford High School and then studied music at UC San Diego. He’s played with a long list of music superstars, including Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. He also has his first solo album coming out on March 25. After a 30-year career playing alongside some of the biggest names in the business, the bassist says it was time.

"It's one of the last things I haven't done," East said. "It's now or never because the CD is about to go bye-bye."

"Get Lucky" had a lot of people dancing last year. East said the same was true of everyone in the studio while they were recording it.

"It’s hard not to move when you hear the playback coming through those speakers really loud, you know?" East said.

Sunday’s performance will be the first time "Get Lucky" has been performed live. Joining Daft Punk, who often perform in robot-like helmets, will be the song's co-writer Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers from legendary disco outfit Chic, Stevie Wonder and East.

The 56th Annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday on CBS.

Nathan East will be performing a special single-night performance at UC San Diego on February 1st to benefit undergraduate scholarships.


How to Dance to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky."

San Diego guitarist Nathan East plays the bass line on "Get Lucky."

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Avatar for user 'clytle'

clytle | January 24, 2014 at 11:59 a.m. ― 3 years, 2 months ago

Nathan East has moved beyond being just a "homegrown musician" we are proud of, he has become an international treasure! His music and ideas have shaped pop music for decades. It has been an honor to have known Nate and the entire East family since the early 1970s. He is passionate about his craft, his family, and his community.

San Diegans have two opportunities to hear Nathan: The Grammys this coming Sunday (1/26) and also live at UCSD at the 18th Annual Lytle Scholarship Concert, Saturday, February 1st at 3:00pm. He will be joined by three of his brothers (David, James & Marcel) to help raise scholarship funds for Preuss School graduates attending Thurgood Marshall College at UC San Diego.

Neither performance by this homegrown international treasure should be missed !

Cecil Lytle

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