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Christos Rafalides

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 in some of the best Orchestras in Greece. He 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.

Upon receiving a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music, he moved to Boston, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree, studying with Ed Saindon. His desire to continue growing brought him to New York City to study with acclaimed jazz vibraphonist Joe Locke at the Manhattan School of Music. Finishing his Masters Degree, Christos began to immerse himself in the vital NYC jazz scene. In a short while he was playing with such notable musicians as Ravi Coltrane, Antonio Sanchez, Donny McCaslin, Mark Ledford and Ron Affif, among others.

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 musics. The group's eponymously titled CD featured the talents of 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".

Christos' latest project is a vibes/marimba collaboration with his erstwhile mentor, Joe Locke. The duo performed original music from their recent release "Van Gogh by Numbers" to an enthusiastic overflowing audience at the 2005 PASIC convention in Columbus, Ohio - an event which sparked considerable interest in the percussion world.

In the spring of 2007, Christos performed a series of concerts with the Charles Mingus "Epitaph" Band featuring bassist Christian McBride and conductor Gunther Schuller. In the fall of that same year, he also performed with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis at Lincoln Center in New York City.

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Album Review

Manhattan Vibes: Blue November

Read "Blue November" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Manhattan Vibes is a spot-on double entendre, referencing the vibraphone focal point that is Christos Rafalides and the hustle and bustle of the world's busiest city, which manifests itself in the group's music. Rafalides, who hails from Kozani, Greece and adopted New York as his new home, waited more than a decade to make a follow-up to the band's self titled debut, but it was worth the wait. The personnel line-up on Blue November is completely different ...

187
Album Review

Christos Rafalides: Christos Rafalides' Manhattan Vibes

Read "Christos Rafalides' Manhattan Vibes" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


The Latin Vibe...

Khaeon Records continues its Latin vibe with the release of percussionist Christos Rafalides' Manhattan Vibes. Previous label releases in the Latin vein include John Benitez's (bassist on the present recording) Descarga in New York (KWM 200101), and Carlos Barbosa-Lima's Mambo No. 5 (KWM 200201, both fine recordings, the latter making my “best of:" list for 2001. Manhattan Vibes demonstrates the characteristics of Latin-influenced jazz where the spacing and accent on musical notes takes precedence over the notes ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Blue November

Self Produced
2013

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Christos Rafalides'...

Khaeon World Music
2002

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