Soul with a capital ‘S’ |

Soul with a capital ‘S’

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily Soul masters Tower of Power sizzle up the Vilar stage with their firey horn section Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Tower of Power founding father Emilio Castillo has no problem waking up every day and going to the office.”Not many people can say they get up in the morning and go to work and love what they do and travel the world doing it and make a good living as well,” Castillo said. “So it’s not so hard to stay together.”Soul legacy Tower of Power has been electrifying audiences for 36 years and will continue Thursday at the Vilar Center for the Arts in Beaver Creek at 7:30 p.m. The band’s longevity hinges on its dynamic approach to creating music.

“We don’t just play old stuff. We have new material. We keep our material fresh, we revise it all the time,” Castillo said.Tower of Power’s latest studio recording, “Oakland Zone,” released at the end of 2003, is the first compact disc with all new material since drummer David Garibaldi’s return. The album pays tribute to the city where it all started.”It’s very much in the classic style of Tower of Power, like some of our classic albums like “Back to Oakland” and the “Tower of Power” album. We’re very proud of it, the material’s great,” Castillo said.

Castillo (saxophone), Garibaldi, Stephen “Doc” Kupka (saxophone) and Francis Rocco Prestia (bass) are the remaining original members of Tower of Power. Despite the evolution of band personnel, the integrity of the band’s sound has been kept in-tact. The band is set apart by its extensive horn section, usually including three saxophones and two trumpet/flugelhorn players.”Our horn section is very famous,” Castillo said. “We have a huge fanbase throughout the world. They’re just nuts over Tower of Power. So we’ve always had a lot of support.”Tower of Power plays up-tempo soul music, which has a lot of energy, and the slower, ballad type of soul music that is infused with emotion. The rhythm produces Tower of Power’s signature funk sound.

“It is the rhythm, it is the song, it is the horns, it is the energy,” Castillo said when asked to describe classic Tower of Power.Castillo said that the high-energy band feeds off the audience during live performances.”On any given night you can get one of these really electric audiences that are giving the energy back,” Castillo said. “If we’re getting that energy back from the audience, it just takes it to another level.”For tickets call, 845-TIXS (8497) or visit

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