Tower Of Power Still Cranking Out High-Voltage Sound

Tower of Power has been blasting out high-powered funk and soft soul since 1968, releasing 14 albums and charting seven singles.

Its latest release, 1993’s “T.O.P.,” hit the singles charts with “Soul With A Capital ‘S’ ” and “Please Come Back (To Stay).” The band’s label, Epic, calls the album “rude, greasy, seductive and romantic.”

“What makes this record special,” says tenor sax player Emilio Castillo, “is what makes Tower of Power different.”

The band began in Oakland, Calif., with Castillo, Stephen “Doc” Kupka on baritone sax, Francis “Rocco” Prestia on bass and Greg Adams on trumpet and flugelhorn.

In recent years, the original members have been joined by Tom Bowes, lead and background vocals; Carmen Grillo, guitar and background vocals; drummer Russ McKinnon; keyboard player Nick Milo, and Lee Thornburg, who plays the trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone and sings background vocals.

The band will be performing a free concert at 8 p.m. Friday in Riverfront Park’s Clocktower Meadow.

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