With almost 40 years of recording and touring experience behind them, Tower of Power has been issuing albums and touring the world steadily since the early 70's, in addition to backing up countless other musicians.
Formed in 1967 in Oakland, California, this durable funky soul group was originally known as Motown's Soul Band. For more than a quarter of a century, Tower of Power has worn its very funky heart on its very funky sleeve.
The group's leader since the beginning has always been tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo who was born in Detroit, but opted to pursue his musical dreams in Oakland, California. It was there that Emilio put together a group called the Motowns. The group specialized in the 60s era soul and eventually teaming up with a baritone sax player named Stephen "Doc" Kupka. Soon the Motowns had transformed into Tower of Power.
Well-known in the 70's for tunes such as What is Hip? and You're Still a Young Man, Tower of Power toured with Sly Stone and Creedence Clearwater Revival, creating traffic jams when they started to headline their own shows. They performed on records with the likes of Elton John, Smokey Robinson and Rod Stewart. They also influenced a generation of musicians including Sting.
In June of 2004, The California Music Association inducted Tower of Power with a Lifetime Achievement Award and cited their 2003 Sony Legacy anthology Havin' Fun as the Soul/R&B album of the Year.
In the early 80s they were backing Huey Lewis and the News. They have continued to play their own music with such hit albums as Bump City, Back To Oakland, Urban Renewal, In The Slot and Live & In Living Color. Tower scored pop and R&B single hits with You're Still a Young Man, So Very Hard To Go, and Don't Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream).
Over the past few years, Tower of Power has added new members and a fresh outlook, but the band has always remained true to itself and to its soul music roots, never failing to please audiences.
Band members include Emilio Castillo, tenor sax and lead vocals; Stephen (Doc) Kupka, baritone saxophone; Francis Rocco Prestia on bass guitar; David Garibaldi on drums; Larry Braggs lead and background vocals; Roger Smith on keyboards and background vocals; Tom E. Politzer, first tenor sax, alto sax, flute and clarinet; Adolfo Acosta, second trumpet and flugelhorn; Michael (Iron Mike) Bogart on trumpet, flugelhorn and background vocals and Mark Harper, lead guitar and background vocals.