Berklee Crowdfunding: Rocco Prestia Bass Scholarship

Berklee Crowdfunding: Rocco Prestia Bass Scholarship

The famed Berklee College of Music has set up a crowdfunding page for a bass scholarship that commemorates a musician near and dear to us at ESP: Francis Rocco Prestia, the legendary bass player from Tower of Power. Rocco was a member of the ESP artist family from 2012 until his passing one year ago, in September 2020. Our relationship with him led to the development of our acclaimed LTD RB Series basses.

A member of Tower of Power since their inception in 1968, Rocco created a style of bass playing that became known as "fingerstyle funk", with rapid 16th note bass lines that locked in perfectly with the grooves of drummer David Garibaldi. This rhythm section was responsible for the highly influential sound of songs like "What Is Hip?", “You're Still A Young Man”, “So Very Hard To Go”, and many others. Rocco was completely self-trained, and created a style of bass playing that would be emulated by thousands of players in multiple genres of music.

During his lifetime, Rocco had a close connection to Berklee, participating many times in artist clinics, masterclasses, and performances with the students in Berklee’s Tower of Power Ensemble, the Bass department, and the Reach Out Initiative. His dedication to the school has led to a team of friends and fans putting together Berklee's Rocco Prestia Bass Scholarship, designed to honor his legacy and to help student bass players at Berklee reach their full potential and defray some of their educational expenses.

We welcome fans of Rocco's music -- and the bass players who he's inspired -- to donate to this worthwhile scholarship fund, with the goal being to reach the endowed status. Meeting this goal will insure that the scholarship will live on in perpetuity.

“I’ve been blessed to have spent my career in a band that plays original music, giving me the opportunity to create my own parts. Out of that came a style that has apparently influenced other bass players.” - Rocco Prestia


Madison W.

Congrats Rocco. Enjoy being one of the scholar of this band. You're in good hands! - Countertops Band