Angelo Cicco was 16 when he first picked up a guitar. Today, he is a popular, well-regarded, professional musician in the Region. His story proves that with the right amount of dedication and passion, anything is possible.
“My idea of success is not having to have a day job,” Cicco said. “People can make music their livelihood and that’s always what I wanted to do.”
Starting out, Cicco played with bands and offered guitar lessons, picking up jobs when he could. Meeting other professional musicians opened doors and before long, he was bringing in a steady income. Being a professional meant he loved his work, but making music a career took a lot of practice and patience. It has been about 30 years since he first strummed a guitar, and ever since that moment, he has worked hard to sharpen his craft. His expertise is evident when his hands fly effortlessly over his guitar strings.
Cicco is a skilled tradesman. He has 1,000 songs in his repertoire and loves them all. This openness to all genres allows for flexibility. In fact, he plays songs depending on the mood of the venue.
“I can read the room,” Cicco said. “I could play Beatles songs today and Metallica songs in acoustic tomorrow.”
Cicco lands a variety of gigs, such as restaurants, bars, private events, weddings, parties, and open houses. He believes that his bookings are about enhancing the experience. Sometimes he has a captive audience, while other times he is there so people can dance, eat, and talk with live music as their atmosphere.
“Ironically as much technology as we have available, there is just something about experiencing live music that resonates with people,” Cicco said. “The energy is just better than turning on the radio.”
Cicco’s name is his brand. He learned to take risks, work hard, and build his business from the ground up. From marketing , to scheduling, and all other details, Cicco is a one-man show.
“I realized, over the years, I have to trust my instincts and have confidence in myself,” Cicco said.
Due to his versatility, he is able to cater to his clients’ needs and add that extra dimension to their events. You can catch him all around the Region: County Line Orchard, Sand Creek Country Club, Bartlett’s Fish Camp, Radius, Sage and Jalapenos are just a few. Some of these establishments provide him steady work, which allows Cicco to make music a full-time job.
“It’s one thing to just show up and play, but I work to build a great relationship with my clients, and when I’m getting bookings a year in advance and steady gigs, it is a remarkable testament in their value of me,” Cicco said. “It’s reassures me that I’m doing the right thing.”
Cicco is especially honored when he is hired to play at weddings. He realizes the importance of crafting that perfect wedding set for the couple.
“It makes me feel encouraged that I'd be allowed to share in those moments,” he said.
Cicco shares music with the world beyond performances. He held a class at Purdue entitled “History of Rock and Roll.” Also, he encourages aspiring musicians to stick with it, even when times are tough. He recommends that musicians who want to make a living off of their music should do what brings them happiness. Cicco plays music that he feels connected to and when people are in his audience, they cannot help but sing along.
“I love that I get to hang out with people who are having fun,” Cicco said. “Music allows us to set aside all our differences, forget about the other things, let loose, and have fun. There is nothing better than that.”
Cicco would like to thank his family and friends for their love and support.
“My biggest inspiration and motivation has been my family and friends. Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”