Skip Rickert Heads Up All Things Touring For Carlos Santana, The Santana Band, And Cristalino, Inc.

Paul “Skip” Rickert, a veteran tour manager, producer, and accountant with more than 30 years of experience working with many of music’s top artists, has been named Tour Director for Carlos Santana and the Santana Band. The appointment was announced by Michael Vrionis, CEO of Universal Tone Management, which handles Carlos Santana’s personal management, and Cristalino, Inc., the corporate entity that encompasses all Santana-related businesses. Rickert has managed all of Santana’s live dates and tours since 2005, including 12 overseas tours and a two-year residency at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Rickert views himself as the “guide” on a Santana tour, serving as captain for a collaborative group of close to 50 people, including the band and the production team.  It’s a feat of logistical engineering that he likens to physically moving an entire manufacturing plant every day. In addition to overseeing tour planning, production and management, Rickert is responsible for the financial aspects of all of Santana’s live events and tours, including budget projections and analysis, contract negotiations, and settlements. 

“We’re in the best possible hands when we’re on the road because Skip is taking care of things,” says Carlos Santana. “I trust him completely, which frees me to focus only on getting into the groove of the music, and embracing the fans.  I couldn’t ask for more.”

For Rickert, the feeling is mutual.  An enthusiastic world traveler, he’s been around the globe many, many times, and never ceases to marvel at his good fortune of plying his trade for Carlos in so many varied and far-flung locales.  “Working with Carlos is very special to me,” he says.  “He treats all of his people with respect and dignity, and the musicians are the most talented I have ever worked with.”

Previously, as an independent tour manager and accountant, Rickert has worked with dozens of artists including Guns N’ Roses, Sex Pistols, Natalie Cole, Stevie Ray Vaughan (up until his death), ZZ Top, and, most recently, Barbra Streisand.  He also put in a two-year stint at The Firm in Los Angeles, handling day-to-day artist management for artists including the Backstreet Boys, Ice Cube, Enrique Iglesias, and Korn.

Rickert’s background in event production and management started during his years as a theater major at the University of California, San Diego (he also attended the Stanford University School of Business, Executive Program).  After graduating in 1979, he became a lighting technician and designer for rock concerts, and then started touring with bands as a production manager.  He first became an independent tour manager in 1983.

When he isn’t on the road, Rickert lives in Tucson with his wife Barbara, a research chemist at the University of Arizona. He has two children, William, a carpenter in Tucson and Dr. Kathleen Reay, a surgeon in Durham, North Carolina.   Rickert was raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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