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Aug. 25 – Labor Day, Sept. 5, 2022

13 Days 17 Hours 22 Mins

Tower of Power

For more than 50 years, Tower of Power has delivered the best in funk and soul music. “We were a soul band called The Motowns,” recalls Emilio Castillo. “Rocco was the bass player, I was in there, and my brother was the drummer. I met ‘Doc’ Kupka back in 1968 and gave him an audition. He came in the band, and we eventually changed our name to the Tower of Power.” The reason for the band name change was that they had a specific goal in mind. “We wanted to get into the Fillmore Auditorium and with a name like the Motowns, dressed in suits with razor cuts, we knew we’d never get in there. We grew our hair long, and started to be hippies, and changed our name. Doc then suggested that we start writing our own songs." The album “East Bay Grease” defined their sound and landed them with Warner Brothers. “Bump City,” their 1972 debut for the label, was a hit on both the Billboard 200 and the R&B Albums chart and netted them the hits “You’re Still a Young Man” and “Down to the Nightclub.” The ‘70s were a boom period with radio classics such as “So Very Hard to Go” and “What Is Hip?” The band has continued to tour and record over the years. Castillo says their love of the stage is the same today as it was back in 1968. Fifty years later, in 2018, they returned to Oakland to celebrate their landmark 50th anniversary. Tower’s window-rattling grooves and raucous party spirit have been a balm for the soul throughout their half-century existence, but the release of “50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater” couldn’t arrive at a better time. The band has long since surpassed Castillo’s modest aspirations, traveling the world, enjoying hit singles on their own and backing legendary artists, including Otis Redding, Elton John, Santana, Grateful Dead, John Lee Hooker, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt and countless others. In the process, they’ve defined an instantly recognizable “Oakland soul” sound.

Grandstand Stage Schedule

Aug. 29

Tower of Power

7:00 pm


Tower of Power

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