If you're looking for a night of fun and high-energy music, there's no better way to spend it than catching the legendary Tower of Power at the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 19.
In a genre-defying career that has spanned half a century, the chart-topping “Oakland soul” band Tower of Power rose from humble East Bay beginnings to headlining major tours and collaborating with an incredibly diverse roster of musicians.
The band’s “Oakland soul” sound is a blend of jazz, R&B, soul, funk, and rock. It’s a sound that can’t be defined but is instantly recognizable; you’ve likely heard them 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, Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others.
“At long last, after being off the road over a year due to the pandemic, Tower of Power is back doing what they do best. Playing music the old fashioned way; live and in living color. We’re looking forward to rocking the Scheidegger Center this March,” said Emilio Castillo, Tower of Power’s bandleader.
A tenor saxophonist and vocalist, Castillo was only 17 years old when he met Stephen “Doc” Kupka, a baritone saxophonist, in the summer of 1968. The two started to assemble the band that would become Tower of Power.
“I had no vision at all,” Castillo 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.”
More than 50 years later, the band is again touring the U.S. and Europe; this time fresh off the 2021 release of 50 Years of Funk & Soul, a 50th anniversary album recorded live over two memorable evenings in June 2018 in Oakland, California — the city that started it all. In 2020, Tower of Power released Step Up, to much acclaim.
The modern line-up of the band includes longtime drummer David Garibaldi, Roger Smith on keyboards, Tom E. Politzer on lead tenor sax, Adolfo Acosta on trumpet and flugelhorn, Jerry Cortez on guitar and Marc van Wageningen on bass. Mike Jerel, a season 18 contestant of The Voice, joined Tower of Power in 2022 as lead vocalist.
Lindenwood University’s Scheidegger Center continues enhanced cleaning protocols and use of a state-of-the-art air cleaning technology installed in the theater to make sure guests are safe and comfortable.
Join the Scheidegger Center for an unforgettable night of funk and soul on March 19. For more information and tickets, visit luboxoffice.com. And don’t miss an evening of soul-stirring jazz when they close out their 2021-2022 touring series with An Evening with Branford Marsalis on April 14.