David Garibaldi was born in Oakland, California, in 1946.



David Garibaldi is a drummer of the funk and soul band The Tower of Power and widely respected by many musicians and fans for his innovative ability in funk music.

David was born in Oakland, California, in 1946. David was a small boy when his fascination with drums begun, while he was growing up in the East of San Francisco. At the age of 10, David was playing drums though he didn’t have any drum set of his own. His parents were supportive of him and so when he went to high school, they bought for him his first drum set.

When David was a teenager in his early teens, he would spend much of his time on his drum set. He started playing drums professionally when he was 17 years old. His career as a drummer, however, faced a stumbling block. 1966, the year he started playing professionally, was the onset of the Vietnam War and as was the requirement he was supposed to serve in the army. And so when his enlistment to the United States Air Force came, he was assigned to the 724th United States Air Force Band. After his tenure in the Army, he returned to his San Francisco Bay Area home in 1979, ready to go back to his life’s dream, playing drums. David then joined Tower of Power in the summer of 1970.

Tower of Power was formed in the early 60s by Emilio Castilio, a tenor Saxophonist who was 17years old then. The original name of the band was The Gotham City Crime Fighters. The band was horn based and so Castilo was joined by baritone saxophonist Stephen Kupka and Mic Gillette who played trumpet and trombone. Later, the group moved to Oakland where they started writing their own music and performed in the Bay Area.

Tower of Power made an impact as a recording group when David joined them as a drummer and Greg Adams joined as trumpeter and arranger. Once the band line up was complete, they contacted promoter Bill Graham who signed a recording contract with them. Their first album was East Bay Grease and their second was Bump City, which was produced under Warner Bros. Records. But it was their third album, the 1972 Tower of Power that became a real hit. The album entered the Billboard Pop Album chart at number 15. The album also contained some hit singles like You’re Still a Young Man’ and ‘What is Hip?’, which stayed on the charts for a long time.

Since, the band has continued to release successful albums and some their songs have been featured as movies sound track like ‘So Very Hard To Go’ which was a sound track in the 2002 hit movie, City of God. They have so far released 16 studio albums, 4 live performances albums and six compilations albums. In 2007, the release another live performance album, this time a DVD entitled Live from Leverkusen.

David’s talent was seen while working with Tower of Power. He soon became one of the most sought out drummers. He featured in hundreds of songs by notable artists and has appeared on live TV shows and on films. Some of the artists he has worked with include Natalie Cole, Wishful Thinking, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum, Ray Obiedo, Patti Austin, the Buddy Rich Orchestra, Boz Scaggs, Talking Drums, Gino Vanelli, Deniece Williams, Jermaine Jackson, the Yellowjackets and Larry Carlton.

David has produced a number of books and videos. These books are on sale worldwide are distributed by Alfred Publishing and Warner Brothers Publications. David has of late been working as a drummer for The Strokeland Superband, which is a ‘Doc’s’ special project by ‘Doc’ Kupka. He has also been working with RAD, a singer who has also featured in the horn section of the Tower of Power in one of her productions. The two have been touring and performing together.

David won the R&B/Funk category of the Modern Drummer Magazine readers Poll for Five consecutive years from 1980-1985, a feat he again repeated in 2003. His Video ‘David Garibaldi featuring Talking Drums’ won the 1998 Best Percussion Video award though polls conducted by DRUM! magazine. David has also been conducting international clinics since 1980, and been a Columnist for Modern Drummer Magazine and other international drum publications.

David had left Tower of Power for sometime to concentrate on his personal projects but he returned in January 1998, and continues touring with the band to date.




Album in studio

  • 1970: East Bay Grease
  • 1972: Bump City
  • 1973: Tower of Power
  • 1974: Back to Oakland
  • 1974: Urban Renewal
  • 1975: In The Slot
  • 1976: Ain't Nothin' Stoppin' Us Now
  • 1978: We Came to Play!
  • 1979: Back on the Streets
  • 1987: TOP (Only released in Europe)
  • 1988: Power
  • 1991: Monster on a Leash
  • 1993: T.O.P.
  • 1995: Souled Out
  • 1997: Direct Plus
  • 1997: Rhythm & Business
  • 2003: The Oakland Zone
  • 2009: The Great American Soulbook

Album live

  • 1976: Live and in Living Color
  • 1988: Direct
  • 1997: Soul Vaccination: Live
  • 2008: East Bay Archive Volume 1 (recorded at K-K-K-Katy's, Boston, MA; April 1973


  • 1974: Funkland
  • 1999: Dinosaur Tracks
  • 2001: The Very Best of Tower of Power: The Warner Years
  • 2002: Soul With a Capital "S": The Best of Tower of Power
  • 2003: Havin' Fun
  • 2003: What is Hip & Other Hits
  • 2006: What is Hip


  • 1972: "You're Still a Young Man", No. 29 (The Billboard Hot 100)(R&B No. 24)
  • 1972: "Down to the Nightclub", No. 66
  • 1973: "So Very Hard to Go", No. 17 (R&B No. 11)
  • 1973: "This Time It's Real", No. 65 (R&B No. 27)
  • 1974: "What Is Hip?", No. 91 (R&B No. 39)
  • 1974: "Time Will Tell", No. 69 (R&B No. 27)
  • 1974: "Don't Change Horses (In the Middle of a Stream)", No. 26 (R&B No. 22)
  • 1976: "You Ought To Be Havin' Fun", No. 68 (R&B No. 62)

Video e DVD

  • 1986: Credit
  • 2003: Tower of Power in Concert
  • 2007: Live from Leverkusen

Nota: Negli anni, hanno avuto luogo molte performance televisive non messe in vendita. Da menzionare nel 1991 in onda su German TV, la performance inserita nella serie televisiva 'Ohne Filter, Musik Pur'.


  • Emilio Castillo (Detroit, 24 settembre 1950): sassofono
  • Stephen Kupka (Berkeley, 25 marzo 1946): sassofono baritono
  • Francis Rocco Prestia (Sonora, 7 marzo 1951): basso elettrico
  • David Garibaldi (Oakland, 4 novembre 1946): batteria
  • Tom Politzer: sassofono
  • Adolfo Acosta: tromba e flicorno
  • Lee Thornburg: tromba e flicorno
  • Roger Smith: tastiera ed hammond
  • Jerry Cortez: chitarra elettrica
  • Larry Braggs: voce


Collegamenti esterni


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(DVD). Includes the Lessons Breaking the Code DVD : Expanding on the information in his award-winning Code of Funk , world-renowned drummer David Garibaldi demonstrates and dissects the patterns he used for such Tower of Power classics as "Page One," "Pocketful of Soul," "Back in the Day," "East Side", and "The Oakland Stroke." Multiple camera angles clearly show his feet, hands, and kit, putting the viewer one-on-one with the master drummer and teacher. Running time: 2 hours, 20 minutes. Also includes the book/CD pack The Code of Funk : This cutting-edge book/audio package brings the music of David Garibaldi and the music of Tower of Power to your practice room and provides an in-depth look at the concepts that David uses to create his futuristic, yet old-school grooves. The 80-page book includes: detailed transcriptions by David, of his drum performance in each of eight tunes from T.O.P's most recent album "Oakland Zone" (Or Music), incisive commentary, photos, a biography,a suggested listening list and more. The CD with all 8 tracks minus David's drums, allows you to "sit in" with this legendary band. Each track provides "clicktrack" count-in, followed by a complete "music minus drums" stereo mix including the lead vocals and solos. The bonus DVD-ROM with instrumental versions of these tracks in file formats that can be looped, slowed down using programs such as Acid and GarageBand and remixed using multi-track studio software such as ProTools , Cakewalk , or Nuendo for further exploration and study. Includes a ReadMe file and also a video tutorial with detailed instructions.

In The Funky Beat, David focuses on combining funk and jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms to extend his own innovative style. By dissecting his grooves and musical choices for each song on the CD, David demonstrates how to develop musical skills and how to create a signature sound. This book/audio package includes eight charts and two CDs mixed with and without drums for play-along usage. As a bonus, David transcribes and explains eleven of his legendary Tower of Power grooves.

At long last, the secrets of Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi's groundbreaking funk/jazz fusion drumming techniques are presented in this innovative book. Whether you play rock, heavy metal, jazz or funk, you'll learn how to incorporate Garibaldi's contemporary "linear" styles and musical concepts into your playing as you develop your own unique drumset vocabulary. Funk/Jazz techniques are highlighted in chapters on development of the "Two Sound Level" concept, Four-Bar Patterns, Groove Playing and Funk Drumming, followed by a series of challenging exercises which include 15 Groove Studies and 17 Permutation Studies. These techniques are combined with modern musical ideas that will help you build a solid foundation and add finesse to your bag of tricks.

Tiempo, a play-along for all levels from the members of Talking Drums, drops the percussionist into the center of an orbiting pulsation of rhythms and sonorous melodies. Although it is geared toward drumset and percussion players, it is equally valuable to all instrumentalists who want to understand how authentic Latin rhythms fit into contemporary music.


Talking Drums is three world-renowned drummers who are the first to come together to combine Afro-Cuban and funk rhythms in "melodic" compositions. TimbaFunk is a how-to book not only for drumset, conga, and timbale players, but also for bassists and all instrumentalists who want to understand how these rhythms fit into contemporary music.