Carmen Rizzo checks his cell phone one last time as he boards the plane at LAX. This is the first of several flights that will take him half way around the world over the next 24 hours – from Los Angeles to Perm, Russia . He’s got a text message from the people he’ll be performing with in Perm; they want him to come back in 10 days for another show, and they need his commitment immediately. He’s taken slightly aback – he’s not exactly sure what he’ll be doing onstage when he arrives this time – but he agrees to make the return trip, figuring that as long as he has the right assemblage of tools, he’ll be able to handle whatever situation is thrown at him.
This is typical for a road warrior like Rizzo. The Los Angeles-based producer, DJ, record label owner, and radio show host is a rapidly-rising global brand, sought after for his wide range of skills that have earned him two GRAMMY nominations. He’s worked with the likes of Seal, Coldplay, Paul Oakenfold, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alanis Morissette. He’s a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). He also DJs a radio set heard by 14 million listeners each month on the highly influential KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle. With so many irons in the fire, he’s become extraordinarily flexible, yet fastidious in his preparation, maintaining a strict work ethic that sees him keeping regular hours in his home studio during the week and, whenever possible, not working weekends to spend time with his children. But this last-minute request is not unusual for Rizzo. He’ll just roll with it.