Home > concerts, Indiana, live music, things to do > Tower of Power, 3/18/2022, in Nashville Indiana

Tower of Power, 3/18/2022, in Nashville Indiana

By Jessica Redden
On behalf of Brown County Music Center

Nashville, Ind. (December 6, 2021) – The Brown County Music Center located in Nashville, Ind., announces An Evening With Tower of Power on Friday, March 18, 2022. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, December 10 at 10 a.m. and will be available at www.browncountymusiccenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, and at the venue box office (open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. via outdoor ticketing windows and phone sales at (812) 988-5323). The box office is now cashless, and accepts debit and credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

Over the course of two memorable evenings in June 2018, legendary soul-funk-R&B outfit Tower of Power returned to Oakland, the city that started it all, to celebrate its landmark 50thanniversary with a few thousand friends, family and fans. The window-rattling grooves and raucous party spirit of ToP has been a balm for the soul throughout the band’s half-century existence, but the release of 50 Years of Funk & Soul: Live at the Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – June 2018 couldn’t have come at a better time. 

Now available from Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, the high-spirited live album and video offers a reminder of the communal joys of the live music experience, something that’s been sorely missed over this staggering pandemic year. Released as a 3-LP set, a 2-CD/DVD combo, a standalone DVD, as well as digitally, 50 Years of Funk & Soul is the next best thing to hearing these brilliant musicians in person. Fittingly for such a special occasion, Tower of Powerwent all out for these hometown shows, supplementing the core 10-piece band and its iconic horn section with additional horns and a string section. 

Bandleader and saxophonist Emilio Castillo also invited back a few elite ToP alumni, including saxophonist Lenny Pickett (musical director of the Saturday Night Live band); keyboardist Chester Thompson (Santana); guitarist Bruce Conte and former vocalist Ray Greene, who shows off his trombone prowess. They join the renowned modern line-up of the band, featuring co-founder Stephen “Doc” Kupka on baritone sax, longtime drummer David Garibaldi, and lead vocalist Marcus Scott. Adding a bittersweet tinge is the presence of founding bassist Francis “Rocco” Prestia, who passed away in September 2020.

“People come up to me all the time and say, ‘Wow man, 50 years! We can’t believe it,'” laughs Castillo. “You can’t believe it? I’m the one that can’t believe it. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs and learned a lot along the way. We’ve affected a lot of people’s lives and done a lot of work that we’re very proud of. The band has a real family atmosphere. It’s been very rewarding.”

Castillo was only 17 years old when he met Kupka and started to assemble the band that would become Tower of Power. “I had no vision at all,” he 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.” The band has long since surpassed Castillo’s admittedly modest aspirations, traveling the world, enjoying hit singles on their own and 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, Aerosmith, Bonnie Raitt, and countless others. In the process they’ve defined an “Oakland soul” sound as instantly recognizable as those from Castillo’s hometown, Detroit, as well as inspirations like Memphis and Philadelphia.

With nearly two hours of pulse-quickening funk that makes up 50 Years of Funk & Soul, the setlist spans the band’s history, from classic hits “You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “What is Hip?” and “Don’t Change Horses” to newly-minted favorites like “Stop” and “Do You Like That?” from recent albums on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group, Soul Side of Town (2018) and Step Up (2020). The band shows off its taut precision on the intricately syncopated “On the Serious Side” and proves eerily prophetic by including “Soul Vaccination.” This vigorous and dynamic live set should prove to be just that for fans around the world starved for the ToP groove over this past year. Count Castillo himself among their ranks – used to fronting the band for 200 dates a year, he’s only played a single gig since last March, joining Los Lobos for a drive-in concert at the Ventura County Fairgrounds. “It’s really been a challenge,” Castillo says of living in lockdown. He’s looking forward to resuming that tireless schedule once the coronavirus is under control. Despite the band’s long and storied history, he has no plans for retirement.

“B.B. King is my role model,” he says. “He just kept on playing to the bitter end. No matter how B.B. was feeling on the bus, he’d step on stage, the lights would go on and he’d come to life. I’ve always said that’s who I want to be. My plan is to continue working and spreading the good news of Tower of Power.”

About the Brown County Music Center: Located in Nashville, Indiana, the Brown County Music Center is a visual and auditory masterpiece with cutting edge design, bringing in nationally known performers and hosting local events. The 2,000-seat live performance venue, opened in August 2019, offers an incredibly intimate experience for each show. The farthest seat from the stage is only 106 feet away. Nestled on the banks of Salt Creek and located less than one-mile from the largest state park in Indiana and the Village of Nashville, this indoor entertainment venue will host world-class rock, blues, country, pop, jazz, oldies, throwback artists, and more.  

About Brown County, Ind.: No matter what you’re looking for, escape comes naturally in Brown County. Eclectic boutiques and galleries, breathtaking scenery, welcoming accommodations, and endless outdoor adventures await in one of America’s original artists’ colonies. From art to the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and for most, it’s only a short drive away. Unplug from daily life and reconnect with one another as you experience the rustic beauty and artisanal charm of Brown County. Plan your escape today…you’ll be glad you did. 

The Brown County Music Center will adhere to federal, state and local health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 and follow a plan approved by local health departments. Please check www.browncountymusiccenter.com for continuous health and safety updates. 

Tickets for concerts at the Brown County Music Center can be purchased at www.browncountymusiccenter.com or ticketmaster.com and at the venue box office (open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. via outdoor ticketing windows and phone sales at (812) 988-5323). Any box office related inquiries beyond purchasing tickets for an upcoming show should be directed to boxoffice@browncountymusiccenter.com.

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