Born in Kozani, Greece, Christos Rafalides can't remember a time when he wasn't surrounded by music. The influence of his older brother led him to the piano at the age of seven. He began his studies in classical percussion at the age of fourteen, and by the time he was twenty he was working with some of the best Orchestras in Greece. Christos believed he would continue his career as a classical percussionist, until one evening when he heard pianist George Cables with the group of Billy Cobham, “here was this guy, playing with his shoes off, conveying so much feeling through his instrument... I knew I wanted to be able to express myself like that." From that moment, Christos knew he would be a jazz musician.
Christos found his personal voice as a player and composer when he established 'Manhattan Vibes', a jazz group with a modern sound, which revealed his developing affinity for Latin and other world music. The group's eponymously titled CD featured the talents of Grammy award winner John Benitez on bass and Steve Hass on drums, two of the most respected young players on the contemporary music scene. The legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker also appears as a special guest. In Jazz Times' magazine's 2002 Year In Review issue, the recording was held as, "...one of the top-ten jazz recordings of 2002".
Recent highlights include a performance as featured soloist with the Orchestra of Colours, performing Thanos Mikroutsikos' ‘Music Stories’ at the Athens Concert Hall; appearing, along with Mike Stern and Dave Weckl, on George Fakanas' critically acclaimed ‘Domino’ CD; featured soloist with Maria Farantouri (Athens Festival) at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus; adding his vibraphone and marimba textures to the recent recordings of vocalists Chaka Khan, Christy Baron, Italian pop artist Jovanotti, Greek singer-songwriter Alkinoos Ioannidis. He also played on the soundtrack of Michaels Moore’s latest film ‘Capitalism, a love story’.
His latest collaboration with Greece’s legendary composer Mimis Plessas led to the release of two projects, both based on Plessas’ music from the 60s: the album ‘Ηχώ/Echo: the music of Mimis Plessas’ (Emarel Music) featuring Evi Siamanda on vocals and the soon-to-be released duo recording ‘We Two’ (Emarel Music) featuring Mimis Plessas on piano and Christos on vibraphone. He also collaborated with pianist Sergio Salvatore in a duo recording entitled ‘Dark Sand’. Salvatore and Rafalides began playing together in 2007, and have gone on to travel throughout the United States with notable performances at New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
Whether in the studio or in concert, Christos continues to maintain a busy schedule. Recent highlights include the debut of his new band ‘Jazz Mediterraneo’ and a United States tour with renowned Italian artist Jovanotti.
|Chaka Khan||12/26/12||Video Embed|
|Christos Rafalides' new duo CD 'We Two'||12/24/12||Images|
|Montuno's Part 1 by Christos Rafalides||12/15/12||Video Upload|
|TOTM - Chops - An Independence Exercise - Christos Rafalides||11/11/12||Video Upload|
|Christos is a Funny Guy!||11/11/12||Video Upload|
|Christos Rafalides/Sergio Salvatore - Live at Pasic 2012||11/05/12||Images|
|Manhattan Vibes live at Kitano, NYC||11/09/11||Images|
|MANHATTAN VIBES live at KITANO in NYC||11/09/11||Event|
|Vibes in Switzerland||11/09/11||Blog entry|