Today's music market has become saturated with genre and audience-specific artists, most of which are simply just carbon copies of other artists who have seen recent success. Much of today's music is formulaic and stale, and many current artists are afraid to blaze new trails and create their own unique style. This has left the music buyer searching for honest music, something that has been increasingly hard to find in this digital age. It's safe to say that in this climate, there aren't any groups out there that can hang with the legendary band known as Tower of Power!
Music's most innovative artists cannot be confined to one genre musically, and the same can be said for Tower of Power. Some call them an "Urban Funk Outfit," others define them as "Jazz Fusion," and yet others believe they are "a Soulful Rock Band." The truth is that this group is all of the above and then some. Blending influences from funk, soul, rock, and jazz, Oakland's Tower of Power is one of the most dynamic groups to ever grace a stage.
Tower of Power got its start in the thriving mid '60's Bay-Area music scene, after founding members Emilio Castillo and Stephen "Doc" Kupka met at Emilio's house for an audition. The 17-year-old Castillo had moved to Fremont, CA from Detroit and was fronting a soul cover band known as "The Motowns." Infatuated with the idea of creating a more original sound, Doc's signature baritone sax sound blew Emilio away, and the two joined forces on the spot. The fledgling band moved to Oakland in 1968, adding new members Francis "Rocco" Prestia on bass, Mic Gillette on trumpet/trombone, and trumpet player Ken Balzell to their original two-man line-up. Oakland became home to the band, and was very kind to them as they began their gigging career on August 13, 1968. San Francisco played host to many of the band's early concerts, including a fateful one in 1970 at the legendary Fillmore, where the band caught the ear of famed concert promoter Bill Graham. Graham had started his own label, San Francisco Records, and he immediately locked the group into a deal. Tower of Power was on their way, and they had also added two new members, trumpeter/arranger Greg Adams, and drummer David Garibaldi.