Rocco Prestia

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Francis "Rocco" Prestia
Birth name Francis Prestia
Also known as Rocco
Born (1951-03-07) March 7, 1951 (age 64)
Origin Sonora, California, USA
Genres Smooth jazz, jazz-funk, funk, rhythm and blues
Occupation(s) Bassist
Instruments Electric bass
Years active 1970-Present
Associated acts Tower of Power, James Jamerson, Jaco Pastorius

Bootsy Collins

Francis Rocco Prestia (born March 7, 1951) is an American musician, the bassist of the funk band Tower of Power.


Born in Sonora, California, Prestia started playing electric guitar as an adolescent. When he auditioned for Emilio Castillo's band Tower of Power, Castillo persuaded him to switch to electric bass.

Prestia worked with the band for the next three decades, then he became seriously ill in 2001. His fans and friends created a foundation in order to help pay the artist's medical costs. On December 5, 2014, Tower of Power's official website announced that Rocco underwent surgery, and updates would be posted as they became available.[1]

Technique and evaluation[edit]

Francis Rocco Prestia has built one of the pillars which support the modern electric bass. He is a master of fingerstyle funk, a technique that he interprets in a very personal way. Prestia lightly mutes the strings with his left hand to get a percussive sound with the pitch remaining clear and accurate. That characteristic sound, in combination with a highly inventive melodic approach to bass lines makes Prestia's sound unmistakable.

With James Jamerson, Stanley Clarke, Anthony Jackson and Alphonso Johnson, Rocco Prestia belongs to the generation of bassists that, a few years before, made possible the great revolution on the electric bass that Jaco Pastorius entailed with his innovations on mid-1970s. The influence of Prestia over the great bassist, that Jaco recognized openly, is clear on classic Tower of Power tracks as the 1973 hit "What is Hip". On the other hand, Rocco cites James Jamerson and the different musicians who worked for James Brown (particularly Bootsy Collins) as his main influences.[2]

Prestia's primary instruments are his Fender Precision basses (a purple transparent American Deluxe and a natural ash-bodied short-lived signature model with a reverse split pickup and a 2-band EQ). In recent years he has maintained an association with the Conklin company that provided him a custom built four-string instrument, one of the few in the company's catalog.

In January 2013, ESP Guitars announced that Prestia has joined their roster of endorsed artists. The company made reference to the introduction of their LTD RB series in May 22, 2014.[3] [4]

Discography with Tower of Power[edit]

Discography as soloist[edit]

  • Everybody on the Bus! (1999)


External links[edit]