Born in Athens, Greece, but based in New York, 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 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, released their debut album in 2022. They won second place in the 2019 Seven Virtual Jazz Club Competition. In 2020, Nikos won the arrangement category of the DownBeat Student Music Award. He was also a recipient of the 2020 Panhellenic Scholarship. In 2022 he received the “Pathways to Jazz” grant for the recording of his second album with the “Nikos Chatzitsakos Tiny Big Band”
Nikos has performed alongside distinguished musicians such as Ralph Peterson, Frank Lacy, Josh Evans, Stacy Dillard, Quiana Lynell, and George Kontrafouris. He’s taken the stage at venues and festivals including Dizzy's Club at the Lincoln Center, DC Jazz Festival, Smalls Jazz Club, Scullers Jazz Club, Agganis Arena, “Jazzed in Siberia” Festival, Rockport Music-Shalin Liu Performance Center, The Berklee Performance Center (BPC), The Jazz Loft, The Red Room @ Cafe 939, Wally's Jazz Cafe, Half Note Jazz Club, SNFCC, and the Onassis Cultural Center.
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, the Athens Big Band, and the 2022 Berklee Commencement Concert for the honorary set of Lalah Hathaway.