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In Memoriam: Touring Audio Veteran Rick “Ricco” Massei

Spent 45 years traveling the globe as a monitor/front of house engineer, broadcast mixer, tour manager, and corporate events production specialist.
Rick “Ricco” Massei

We thank Annie Massei for this wonderful account of her husband’s life. — Editor

Touring audio veteran Rick “Ricco” Massei passed away unexpectedly on January 15, 2022, at home in Cathedral City, CA. He spent 45 years traveling the globe as a monitor/front of house engineer, broadcast mixer, tour manager, and corporate events production specialist.

Ricco worked with many of the giants of audio and event production, starting with industry icon Stanley Miller, and over the years this list grew to include Larry Estrin, Patrick Stansfield, Robert (Bob) Ludwig, Bob Goldstein, Mike Stahl, and Al Siniscal.

Encompassing all music genres, his career included 22 years with vocal artist Bobby McFerrin and his ensembles. Key touring clients included pop hit-makers England Dan & John Ford Coley, Waylon Jennings, Bette Midler, the Everly Brothers, The Manhattan Transfer, Sade, Chicago, the Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Patti LaBelle, Melissa Manchester, and Jeff Golub.

Ricco served as audio compound manager at five Super Bowl halftime productions, Salt Lake City Winter Olympics 2002, and World Cup XV; handled live audio duties for four U.S. Presidents, and was a member of the broadcast audio team for Saudi Arabia‘s Centennial Celebration.

His sharp ears, quick problem-solving mind, and attention to production detail were his calling card. On his inaugural pro tour in 1975 as roadie and monitor engineer for Stevie Wonder, he celebrated his 22nd birthday in Japan. This quickly led to tours with Parker McGee, Seals & Crofts and El Chicano.

Ricco loved touring, the ultimate “no excuses, no do-overs” kind of job. He excelled in managing the distinct challenges of each new venue, and delivering live entertainment on time, every day. He loved it all: managing concerts in ancient Roman amphitheaters or on the Montreux Jazz Festival stage to mixing music award shows or live news broadcasts; dispensing crisp audio feeds for celebrity weddings and dusty state fair stages to mixing in remote trucks for global boxing event audiences.

Born in Blackwell, OK, Ricco was a member of the Audio Engineering Society, IBEW 45, and IATSE 695. He was 68 years old and leaves behind Annie, his wife of 38 years, three brothers, a sister and extended family from California to New York and Sicily. It was a wonderful life.

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