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Biography 

     Born in Athens, Greece, bassist, composer, and arranger, Nikos Chatzitsakos has been engaged with music from an early age.  In his teens, he developed a deep appreciation for “Jazz”, rooted in Black American music of the 1940s-60s, because of the values and the process it represents. Nikos attempts to find new ways to honor the era and connect it to other idioms.  He is an award-winning musician, and has been a member of the Ralph Peterson GenNext Big Band, and leader of the Nikos Chatzitsakos “Tiny Big Band” & Quartet.

    After graduating from the Music School of Ilion in Greece, Nikos enrolled at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, where he studied musicology. In 2016, Nikos moved to Boston, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Berklee College of Music with a full-tuition scholarship as a dual major in performance and jazz composition. At Berklee, he studied with Linda May Oh, Terence Blanchard, Billy Kilson, Darren Barrett, Ayn Inserto.

    In 2018, Nikos recorded his first album with Ralph Peterson’s GenNext Big Band featuring Frank Lacy on the album Listen Up.  The band achieved first place in the 68th DownBeat Critics Poll’s Rising Star Big Band category (the band achieved second place the year before).  The Nikos Chatzitsakos Tiny Big Band & Quartet, for which he arranges and composes music, won second place in the 2019 Seven Virtual Jazz Club Competition. In 2020, Nikos won the arrangement category of DownBeat Student Music Award. He was also a recipient of the 2020 Panhellenic Scholarship. His arrangements have been performed by the Manhattan School Of Music Jazz Orchestra on the "Venus Project" under the musical direction of Dean Ingrid Jensen, the "Novosibirsk International Student Jazz Festival" Big Band, and the "Jazz Academy Big Band", from Moscow.


     Nikos has performed alongside distinguished musicians such as Ralph Peterson, Frank Lacy, Quiana Lynell, Sarah Reich, George Kontrafouris, Charis Ioannou, Takis Paterelis. He’s taken the stage at venues and festivals including Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at the Lincoln Center, DC Jazz Festival, Scullers Jazz Club, “Jazzed in Siberia” Festival, Rockport Music-Shalin Liu Performance Center, The Berklee Performance Center (BPC), The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Wally's Jazz Cafe, SNFCC, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the "Vamos Jazz in July" Festival.

 

     In 2021, Nikos entered the graduate program at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute on a full-tuition scholarship where he currently studies under the direction of Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Ben Street, Adam Cruz, and Joe Lovano.