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. 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”.
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. There he continued his graduate studies on a full-tuition scholarship. At Berklee, he studied with Linda May Han Oh, Billy Kilson, Ralph Peterson Jr, John Patitucci, Ben Street, and Joe Lovano.
In 2018, Nikos recorded his first album with Ralph Peterson’s GenNext Big Band featuring Frank Lacy on the album Listen Up. The band won the first place in the 68th DownBeat Critics Poll’s Rising Star Big Band category (second place the year before). The Nikos Chatzitsakos Tiny Big Band, for which he arranges 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.
Nikos has performed alongside distinguished musicians such as Ralph Peterson, Frank Lacy, Antonio Hart, Quiana Lynell, Lalah Hathaway, 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, Agganis Arena, “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.
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 "Jazz Academy Big Band" from Moscow, the "Novosibirsk International Student Jazz Festival" Big Band, and the 2022 Berklee Commencement Concert for the honorary set of Lalah Hathaway.