For Central Florida musicians hoping one day to take their skills on the road, some musicians from the road are coming to UCF to help sharpen those techniques.
The horn section of the Tower of Power, the high-energy funk and soul band that has performed together more than four decades, will present a free clinic April 11 at the University of Central Florida for anyone that would like to attend.
John Almeida, associate professor of trumpet studies, scheduled the clinic while the band is in Orlando for a concert. The Orlando stop is the group’s first performance back in the United States after a three-week tour in Europe, playing to fans from Amsterdam to Zurich, and other stops in between.
“Tower of Power has been playing and touring for 43 years. They are the soul band – they wrote the book,” Almeida said.
Trumpet player Adolfo Acosta said the horn section likes to stop while on tour and present clinics to aspiring musicians.
“We talk about our personal musical backgrounds as well as answer questions from those attending the clinic,” Acosta said in e-mail from Italy. “Those who attend the clinic can expect to hear many horn section excerpts from the band’s repertoire.”
Others in the Tower of Power horn section are: Emilio Castillo, tenor sax; Stephen “Doc” Kupka, baritone sax; Tom Politzer, tenor sax, and Sal Cracchiolo, trumpet. Along with Castillo and Kupka, original band members are bassist Rocco Prestia, and drummer Dave Garibaldi.
The visit by Acosta will be a reunion of sorts with UCF’s Jeff Rupert, director of jazz studies in the Music Department, who used to tour with Acosta when they played in Maynard Ferguson’s jazz band in the late ‘90s.
“I was in the band eight years and remember the day he [Acosta] came in,” Rupert said. “We made a live recording that night, and he was great.”
Almeida said part of the clinic will be about the band members’ views on playing together as an ensemble, which is one of their trademarks.
“The sound that this five-man horn section makes is easily recognized by their tight harmony and hard-driving style of playing. No other horn section sounds like them, he said. “Their presence and their playing should really inspire our music students to work towards attaining perfection as musicians. These guys are great examples of that.”
The clinic will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 11 in Studio 1 of the Theater Building. The visit is made possible in part by grants from Yamaha Band and Orchestral Instruments, Gerry Lopez Music, and the Horn Section.