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