Stephen “Doc” Kupka is an American saxophonist best known as a founding member of the influential funk and soul band, Tower of Power. Born on March 31, 1946, in Berkeley, California, Kupka began playing the saxophone in his early teens and quickly developed a passion for music.
In 1968, Kupka and his friend, Emilio Castillo, formed Tower of Power, a band that would go on to become one of the most popular and influential funk and soul groups of the 1970s. Kupka’s distinctive baritone saxophone playing was a key element of the band’s sound, and his deep, rich tone helped to define the Tower of Power sound.
Over the course of his career, Kupka has recorded numerous albums with Tower of Power and collaborated with a wide range of other musicians. He has been praised for his unique and innovative approach to the baritone saxophone, and his playing has been a major influence on countless other musicians in the funk and soul genres.
In addition to his work as a performer, Kupka is also a talented composer and arranger, and his compositions have been recorded by a number of other artists. He is also a dedicated music educator, and has taught at a number of institutions throughout his career.
Kupka’s contributions to music have been widely recognized, and he has received numerous awards and honors over the course of his career. He is a Yamaha artist, and his signature baritone saxophone mouthpiece is widely used by musicians around the world.
Today, Kupka continues to perform and record with Tower of Power, and his influence on the funk and soul genres continues to be felt by musicians and fans alike. His commitment to innovation and his dedication to music education continue to inspire new generations of musicians and listeners around the world.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.