Basic Background Info

Birth: November 4, 1946
Location: Oakland,California
Band: Tower of Power
Genres: Funk
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician



A native of Oakland, California, David Garibaldi was fascinated with drums as a child. David Garibaldi joined jazz and funk powerhouse Tower of Power in the 1970s and, while playing with the band, he expanded the horizons of funk drumming. David Garibaldi's precision playing added a unique sophistication to the bandís unrelenting 16th-note approach. His use of the snare, hi-hat, and bass gave the grooves a multi-dimensional sound and his innovative use of fills spiced up everything.

After ten years with Tower of Power, David Garibaldi left the band to pursue other interests. David relocated to Los Angeles in search of session work. During his career as a studio drummer, he also authorized educational books and taught aspiring drummers.

In the late 1980s, David Garibaldi returned to the San Francisco area and expanded his musical boundaries. He studied Afro-Cuban rhythms and created Talking Drums, a percussion trio that focused on those rhythms. David Garibaldi joined Mickey Hart's Planet Drum group with Giovannia Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, and Airto Moreira.

And in 1998, David Garibaldi reunited with Tower of Power. The band released their first new studio album, Oakland Zone, in 2003. This album incorporated their classic groove with a contemporary twist. Although David's drumming on the album was noticeably characteristic, his growth as a drummer was evident.

David Garibaldi advises aspiring funk drummers to listen to the great funk musicians - Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, Melvin Parker, Clayton Fillyau, James Brown, and Zigaboo Modeliste. "The tradition of funk music - particularly the drumming - is about beats and learning how to play them with the right feel. If you study those James Brown recordings, practically every song was beat-specific. The songs were built on really cool grooves, and these are the building blocks of the music. I feel it's very important for a drummer to go back and master those basic beats."


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1970 East Bay Grease Tower of Power
1972 Bump City Tower of Power
1973 Tower of Power Tower of Power
1974 Back to Oakland Tower of Power
1975 In the Slot Tower of Power
1975 Urban Renewal Tower of Power
1976 Live and in Living Color Tower of Power
1976 Slippin' Away Chris Hillman
1977 Loading Zone Roy Buchanan
1977 Song Bird Deniece Williams
1978 Motown Sounds: Space Dance Various Artists
1978 This Night Won't Last Forever Bill LaBounty
1979 Back on the Streets Tower of Power
1979 Everything You've Heard Is True Tom Johnston
1985 Black Cars Gino Vannelli
1985 Wishful Thinking Wishful Thinking
1986 Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home Leonard Rosenman
1986 Think Again Wishful Thinking
1987 Big Dreamers Never Sleep Gino Vannelli
1988 Chronology David Meece
1990 Inconsolable Man Gino Vannelli
1991 Get a Grip on the Blues Garth Webber
1991 Iguana Ray Obiedo
1993 Guitar on Fire: The Atlantic Sessions Roy Buchanan
1993 Sticks & Stones Ray Obiedo
1993 To the Bone Chris Lege
1994 Put Me in a Box Karen Hart
1995 Foreign Matter Peter Horvath
1995 Steady Freddy Collective Cuts Fred Horn
1995 Train of Thought: 1985-1990 Wishful Thinking
1996 Gonna Take a Miracle: The Best of Deniece Williams Deniece Williams
1996 Wilderness Tony Williams
1997 Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Various Artists
1997 Down the Road Bobby Vega
1997 Playing it Cool Joyce Cooling
1997 World Blue John Lee Sanders
1998 Just Good Stuff: 10 Years of Hypertension Various Artists
1998 Slow Love Gino Vannelli
1998 Superlingua Mickey Hart/Planet Drum
1999 Everybody on the Bus Rocco Prestia
1999 Jay Tee Jay Tee
1999 Modern World Ray Obiedo
1999 Soul Vaccination: Live Tower of Power
1999 What Is Hip?: The Tower of Power Anthology Tower of Power
2000 Kick It up a Step! Strokeland Superband
2001 Expectations of Love David Lasley
2001 Very Best of Tower of Power: The Warner Years Tower of Power
2002 Best of Mickey Hart: Over the Edge and Back Mickey Hart
2002 Best Smooth Jazz Ever Various Artists
2002 Soul With a Capital "S": The Best of Tower of Power Tower of Power
2003 Oakland Zone Tower of Power
2003 Superstar Rock Festival Various Artists
2003 Wilderness Tony Williams
2004 Higher Plane Rad.
2004 Live at the New Morning, Paris Rad.
2004 Make Every Second Count Rad
2004 Rosco's Place Jazz Rosco
2005 Do It! Poncho Sanchez
2005 Ear Candy Mic Gillette
2005 Transfusion Cold Blood
2006 ...and Comrades: A Compilation of Urban R&B, Rock, & Jazz Sargent Tucker
2006 Revolving Door Joyce Cooling
2007 East Babe Rad
2009 David Garibaldi/Mike Spiro/Jesus Diaz: Talking Drums Talking Drums
2010 40th Anniversary Tower of Power
2013 Hipper Than Hip Tower of Power


  • Modern Drummer Readers' Poll awarded David Best Funk/R&B Drummer a record six times.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Yamaha
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Yamaha
Heads: Remo
Percussion: Latin Percussion 
Sticks: Vic Firth

Pics & Clips