Randy Tico, bassist, composer & producer


To call Randy Tico a bassist touches on only part of his musical identity. Tico has gained a solid reputation as an inventive and versatile bassist, working with Jeff Bridges & the Abiders, Flora Purim and Airto, Matrix, Strunz and Farah, John McEuen, Kenny Loggins, Joe Farrell, Scott Cossu and many others.  Simultaneously, Tico has also extended his talents into the areas of composing for film--"Steal Big, Steal Little" directed by Andrew Davis (the Fugitive), "The Housekeeper" and "Joe's Gyro Palace" for the FX Network's Independent Film Series, episodes for the syndicated TV series "Freddy's Nightmares"--as well as original scores for theater (see Theater projects page), studio work and realizing his own ambitious multi-media pieces. Diverse as these projects might seem, it all relates to Tico's expansive musical overview and an adaptability to various creative assignments.

Born and raised in Santa Barbara, Tico took to music early, learning bass and studying classical piano. Out of school, he honed his wares in numerous local club bands, learning jazz, latin and rock techniques that he would later draw upon as the bassist for the internationally acclaimed jazz group Matrix. Tico's involvement with Matrix began in 1978, and included touring and three albums--"Wizard" and "Tale of the Whale" for Warner Brothers and "Harvest" for Pablo. Tico's distinctive, melodic bass style, incorporating unusual techniques with harmonics, was a cornerstone of the Matrix sound.

In 1981, Tico's connection and affinity with Brazilian music took a step forward when he began working with Flora Purim and Airto. He has toured the globe and recorded many albums with the famous Brazilian couple. Tico's involvement with the music of Brazil has continued to grow with artists such as Ivan Lins, Kleber Jorge (singer w/ Sergio Mendes), Dori Caymmi, Cesar Camargo Mariano and Teka. In addition, he has recorded and toured with the Grammy award winning, world music group "Strunz and Farah" and appeared with them on the PBS television show "Sound Festival".

After returning to California from his Matrix stint in the early 80's, Tico began assembling large-scale multi-media projects for the annual Santa Barbara Arts Festivals. "Soundscapes", involving music, multiple-projector visuals and dance resulted in an album release on Inner Circle records, with Tico at the helm as performer, composer, and producer.  The project was refined in subsequent years and evolved into the yet more elaborate "Vision Quest" and "The First People". Then in 1990 the album "Earth Dance", featuring original Tico compositions was released on Higher Octave Music. Additionally, Tico served as musical director for Santa Barbara's celebrated Summer Solstice Parade in '88 and '89 and between '90 and '95 he composed for and directed trans-cultural, multi-media concert events for the Summer Solstice Evening Performance Series. In '98   "Points of Departure”, featuring choreography by Christopher Pilafian was performed at the historic Lobero Theater with Tico as composer and music director.

In '95 and '96 Tico joined percussionist Efrian Toro and Brazilian composer/keyboardist Rique Pantoja as instructors for educational seminars in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. He was also featured as guest artist/teacher at the Bozeman Bass Bash in Montana along with Brian Bromberg and Barry Green (author of "The Inner Game of Music"). In '98 the Bay Bass Band (founded by Barry Green) commissioned Tico to compose a new work for 5 acoustic basses and percussion. Other composers for the group include John Pattituci and Jimmy Haslip.


2017 Ovation Award nomination for AMERYKA produced by Critical Mass Performance Group

2004 Garland award Ovation nomination for sound design APOLLO @ the Kirk Douglas Theater

2000 Drammy award for music composition ANTIGONE @ Portland Center Stage

1993   California Confederation of the Arts - Scholarship to Governors Conference on the Arts

1991    California Arts Council - Individual Artist Fellowship

1991    Santa Barbara County Arts Partnership Grant - Evening Performance at the Courthouse

1990   Santa Barbara County Arts Partnership Grant - Evening Performance at the Courthouse