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Tower of Power

Date: Apr 13, 2022
Time: 7:30 PM
Location(s): 
Kodak Center Main Theater - (585) 254-0181
Category(s):
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Sponsors

WXXI
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WRUR
Media
Legendary Soul-Funk-R&B Band Tower of Power, whose timeless classics such as “What Is Hip?” “So Very Hard to Go,” “You’re Still A Young Man,” and many more, have truly withstood the test of time. In 2018, Tower of Power got together for two memorable evenings in Oakland, the city that started it all, to celebrate its landmark 50th anniversary with a few thousand friends, family and fans. The window-rattling grooves and raucous party spirit of ToP has been a balm for the soul throughout the band’s half-century existence, but the release of 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018 couldn’t have come at a better time.

Now, the legendary soul-funk-R&B group is set to return to the road with the first major tour since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Beginning in February, they'll visit over 20 markets in nearly a dozen states to celebrate the release of their recent album in commemoration of their 50th anniversary.

Available now from Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, the high-spirited live album and video offers a reminder of the communal joys of the live music experience, something that’s been sorely missed over this staggering pandemic year. Released as a 3-LP set, a 2-CD/DVD combo, a standalone DVD, as well as digitally, 50 Years of Funk & Soul is the next best thing to hearing these brilliant musicians in person. Fittingly for such a special occasion, Tower of Power went all out for these hometown shows, supplementing the core 10-piece band and its iconic horn section with additional horns and a string section.

Bandleader and saxophonist Emilio Castillo also invited back a few elite ToP alumni, including saxophonist Lenny Pickett (musical director of the Saturday Night Live band); keyboardist Chester Thompson (Santana); guitarist Bruce Conte and former vocalist Ray Greene, who shows off his trombone prowess. They join the renowned modern line-up of the band, featuring co-founder Stephen “Doc” Kupka on baritone sax, longtime drummer David Garibaldi, and lead vocalist Marcus Scott. Adding a bittersweet tinge is the presence of founding bassist Francis “Rocco” Prestia, who passed away in September 2020.

“People come up to me all the time and say, ‘Wow man, 50 years! We can't believe it,’” laughs Castillo. “You can't believe it? I'm the one that can't believe it. We've been through a lot of ups and downs and learned a lot along the way. We've affected a lot of people's lives and done a lot of work that we're very proud of. The band has a real family atmosphere. It's been very rewarding.”

Castillo was only 17 years old when he met Kupka and started to assemble the band that would become Tower of Power. “I had no vision at all,” he recalls now. “I just loved playing soul music. My idols were a local band called The Spyders and they had gigged in Sacramento. I thought, ‘Man, if I could just get to Sacramento that would be it.’ That's literally how small my vision was.”

The band has long since surpassed Castillo’s admittedly modest aspirations, traveling the world, enjoying hit singles on their own and backing some of the most legendary artists of the last 50 years – a list that includes Otis Redding, Elton John, Santana, the Grateful Dead, John Lee Hooker, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others. In the process they’ve defined an “Oakland soul” sound as instantly recognizable as those from Castillo’s hometown, Detroit, as well as inspirations like Memphis and Philadelphia.

Venue Information

Health & Safety
Face masks are optional. Please be aware that Kodak Center will operate at 100% capacity and you will be seated with guests directly in front of, next to and behind you.
Ticketing
Tickets available online at Ticketmaster.com or in person at the Kodak Center Box Office, open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Children under 2 years of age are free.
Parking
Ample parking is conveniently located across the street from Kodak Center. $10 charge (cash only).
Prohibited Items
No bags larger than 12”x12”x6”, outside food/drinks, weapons/firearms, professional cameras, video/audio recording devices, laptops/tablets, or animals (except service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)).
Accommodations
Accommodations for disabilities may be made in advance by emailing Kodak Center at info@asm.kodakcenter.com.
Promotions
Any promotion or contest in connection with this event is courtesy of ASM Global and/or the event promoter and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by Eastman Kodak Company or Facebook.
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