Wednesday, June 30, 2010

17 Year Old Sits in with Tower Of Power

This past Saturday Night found me in the East Bay Area town of Pleasanton catching the 8PM Tower Of Power concert at the Alameda County Fair. Earlier my wife and I poked our heads in at the 6PM show to find that it was packed, standing room only. We made a decision at 6:30 to get in line for the 8PM show. We were joined by some friends of ours. Seating for the 8PM show began around 7:30, so we all made our way to the fifth row, right in front of where the Tower’s horn sections is set to play.

Not long after sitting down (bench seating), a group of people that included two young girls, and a young man 15-18 years old, sat next to my wife. OK seems un-related, but this will have a tie in shortly. The Tower show was excellent and the band was firing on all cylanders. Being that this is Tower’s home turf, there were lots of band member friends, and family in the stands, the energy was high. Its now the end of the show and Tower is wrapping it up with their the classic “What Is Hip?”, before the song begins, Larry Braggs makes mentions that Tower has a “farm team” and they bring out the young man that was sitting next to my wife, with trumpet in hand. Yes, I looked over did a double take, and realized that he was now on stage.

The young man turns out to be Josh Shpak a student of Mic Gillette’s. Not only did Josh sit in for “What Is Hip?’, but he played with the band for the encore ‘You’re Still A Young Man”. While Josh was on stage I happened to look over at the two girls that were originally sitting with Josh, they were now standing on the bench, and the look of joy and pride on there faces was priceless. Doing some research, I have found out that Josh is a 17 year old Junior at Northgate High School in Walnut Creek. He has also studied in the past with the renowned “Clark Terry”. In fact, Mic Gillette of Tower Of Power sent me an email saying that “Josh is spending this week with trumpet god, Clark Terry at his home in Arkansas”.

Lets all keep an eye on Josh, his future looks very bright.

Below is a video of Josh sitting in with Tower.