Tag Archives: Tower of Power

Tower of Power added to Admiral lineup

Tower of Power, whose high-energy, ultra-funky sound propelled them out of the East Bay San Francisco music scene in 1968 and into international prominence, will play a January 26 concert at the Admiral Theatre, the Admiral announced yesterday.

The Tuesday night show will start at 7 p.m., with doors open at 6 p.m. The Admiral’s casual dining menu will be available. Ticket prices range from $75 on the main floor to $20 in the upper balcony.

ToP produced a string of hits, including “Down to the Nightclub (Bump City),” “What Is Hip?” and “You’re Still a Young Man,” has remained a potent live act for more than 40 years, continuing to turn out new music and touring heavily. They are a Northwest favorite, with frequent visits that include an annual residency at Seattle’s Jazz Alley. Despite numerous personnel changes over the years, ToP still can funkafize with the best of them.

The current lineup is powered by founding members Emilio Castillo (tenor sax) and Steve Kupka (baritone sax), along with original members Francis Rocco Prestia (bass) and David Garibaldi (drums). Roger Smith (keyboards), Tom E. Politzer (tenor sax), Adolpho Acosta (trumpet), Jerry Cortez (guitar), Sal Cracchiolo (trumpet) and Ray Greene (lead vocals) rounTOP-walking-medd out this latest incarnation.

Taken from the Admiral’s release:

“ToP performed on records with Neil Diamond, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, and Dionne Warwick, and influenced a generation of musicians (including Sting, who has told Emilio Castillo that he once had a “Tower of Power clone band” before he formed The Police). In the 1980s, they backed Huey Lewis and the News on world tours. They continued to play their own music in between Lewis’s gigs.

“Tower of Power is experiencing a renaissance, touring most of every year and packing venues in the United States, the Pacific Rim, and all over Europe with its audience of new and old fans. On June 6, 2004, The California Music Association inducted Tower of Power with a Lifetime Achievement Award and cited their 2003 Sony Legacy anthology Havin’ Fun as soul/R&B album of the year, beating out releases by En Vogue and Raphael Saadiq. When asked to describe the band’s music, former Tower saxophonist Lenny Pickett, now musical director for the “Saturday Night Live” band says, ‘ToP is the world’s best rhythm and blues band.’ In reality, ToP’s horn-driven, in-your-face sound is all its own.”

I’ve seen ToP a number of times over the years, in venues from Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center to the old 99 Club in SeaTac, and they’ve never failed to entertain with top-notch musicianship and a room full of fun(k).

Information: 360-373-6743, admiraltheatre.org

— MM