“It’s been like a college around there,” says Emilio Castillo, creator, leader and sax player, about his four decades bringing the funk to audiences worldwide. With five original members still at the core, the group sees many others come and go. “Musicians join us, hang out and mature. They’re good when they get here and they’re great when they leave. Then they go on to do great things, and it looks good on the résumé.”
Castillo also has an impressive résumé. Born in Detroit, but an Oakland resident since his 11th birthday, he picked up the sax at 14 and has never stopped playing. At 16, he and the first incarnation of Tower of Power were sneaking into East Bay clubs and laying down an irresistible dance beat. This Thursday, the band stops by the Chumash Casino Resort to remind the fans that Power cannot be stopped.