Tower of Power - 50th Anniversary

Yamaha Canada Music - 50 Years of Sharing Passion and Performance
Date: 
Tue Jun 25 8:00pm
Ticket Price: 
$65, $55 + service charge

Oakland, California music legends Tower of Power - the most dynamic and distinctive band of survivors in Soul Music – is celebrating 50th anniversary.
Since its formation in Oakland, California in 1968, Tower of Power has forged a reputation as a crack band of high achieving musicians fluent in all realms of Soul, Rock and Pop music with a sophistication and punch like that of a Jazz big band. From their first album East Bay Grease (1970) on Rock impresario Bill Graham’s San Francisco Records label (distributed by Atlantic), the interracial band became pillars and signatures of The Bay Area Music Scene that included pioneering like-minded bands such as Sly & The Family Stone, Cold Blood, Graham Central Station, The Pointer Sisters and The Sons of Champlin plus rock-oriented outfits such as Santana, Betty Davis and Journey. Beginning with their sophomore release, Tower of Power came to prominence with a string of acclaimed albums on Warner Bros. Records: Bump City (1972), Tower of Power (1973), Back to Oakland (1974), Urban Renewal (1974), In the Slot (1975) and Live and in Living Color (1976). A move to Columbia Records resulted in three more major label releases and their last top-charting hit, “You Ought To Be Havin’ Fun.” Including all studio albums, live albums and rarities anthologies, T.O.P. has 24 previous releases in its burgeoning catalog.

Along with T.O.P.’s classic recordings, the 5-piece Tower of Power Horns – known for its power packed punch and fullness with two trumpets, two tenor saxophones plus a baritone sax on the bottom – became much in demand for studio sessions and live gigs. Among the hundreds of artists they have blessed with their presence are Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Graham Central Station, Elton John, Little Feat, Billy Preston, John Lee Hooker, Coke Escovedo, Jose Feliciano, Al Kooper, Sammy Hagar, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, Jermaine Jackson, Harvey Mason, Lenny White, The Brothers Johnson, The Meters, Lee Oskar, Dionne Warwick, Melissa Manchester, Bobby Caldwell, Heart, Rick James, Santana, Smokey Robinson, Huey Lewis & The News, Toto, Paul Shaffer, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Spyro Gyra, Terence Trent D’Arby, Luther Vandross, Candy Dulfer, Aerosmith, Phish, John Hiatt, Neil Diamond, P.Diddy, Bill Wyman, Eiko Shuri…and TV’s The Simpsons (Sing The Blues).

Most importantly, when almost all other R&B bands abandoned their horn sections as the sound of Soul music morphed into more stripped-down techno and synthesizer strains in the `80s, Tower of Power near single-handedly carried the torch for full-on 10-piece bands, often even including a conguero/percussionist. Faithful fans flocked to their concerts and purchased their new albums that kept the real soul vibe alive for decades. Indeed, the horn section is so pivotal to Tower of Power that unlike most band stage setups that have horns in the back, T.O.P.’s renowned and respected horn section is right up-front with the lead singer.

Soul Side of Town is the centerpiece of a celebratory 50th Anniversary campaign for Tower of Power that will also see the re-release via Mack Avenue Records of four hard to find independent productions: The East Bay Archive Vol. 1 (a 1973 live recording from Boston), Oakland Zone (a 2008 release celebrated for the return of drummer David Garibaldi after several years away), Great American Soulbook (an all-star affair of soul classics featuring guests such as Joss Stone, Tom Jones, Sam Moore and Huey Lewis), and 40th Anniversary: Live at The Fillmore in San Francisco (a deluxe multi-disc CD/DVD collector’s item loaded with great new live renditions of hits plus interviews with alumni past and present).

This concert promises to be a BLAST for Tower of Power and all its fans as they celebrate their 50th anniversary with a motherload of electrifying new sounds guaranteed to funkifize, energize and provide the soundtrack for new American movements of Love, Peace, Soul Power, Mind Power and People Power to rise!

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