CHRIS SARANTAKIS - Bouzouki Instrumentalist
Chris Sarantakis was born and educated in St. Louis, MO. His parents were both of Greek heritage and as a child he was always listening to European styles of music, mostly Greek. He attended Maryville College in St. Louis, where he studied Music Education and Music Therapy.
Due to his fascination with the Beatles, at age ten he began private guitar instruction. A year later his father Peter brought home a Bouzouki (a Greek stringed instrument) and he was learning to play it. He encouraged Chris to learn ten Greek tunes on the Bouzouki and promised if he did he would buy him a new Fender electric guitar and amplifier. In one week’s time, Chris learned the tunes and his father kept his promise.
“It is amazing to me how many people I meet today who are not familiar with this extremely expressive authentic instrument,” smiles Chris.
Though he plays various styles of music using electric and nylon string guitars, the Bouzouki continues to be his favorite medium for expressing himself musically. “The sound is authentic, says Chris,” but can easily be mixed into Jazz, American standards, Movie themes and Contemporary styles of music.”
In 1976 his family relocated to Marin County in the San Francisco Bay Area. Chris formed a contemporary Greek band called “Zeus” which performed at various festivals and events. Chris recorded a CD with Zeus entitled, “Santorini Silhouette,” which contains some original compositions.
In 1983 Chris got his first cruise ship booking as a featured instrumentalist sailing in the Alaska inside passage. This turned into a full time position as Chris found himself getting bookings on all of the major cruise lines sailing throughout the world. He released a CD entitled “Christos On Stage” which featured popular international tunes he performed while cruising.
In 1990, he began a four-week contract at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. This four-week contract ran for nine years with much success. He recorded a CD with his duet “Strings International” entitled “Strings International-Mediterranean Cruise.”
In 2000, he relocated back to the San Francisco Bay Area and made his home in Sonoma, CA. Chris formed a band called “Mediterranean Soul,” which performed at numerous Greek festivals and Big Fat Greek Parties.
“Performing at Greek festivals is a blast,” says Chris. “The audiences are spirited and excited to embrace the Greek culture.”
Mediterranean Soul released two CD’s.
Mediterranean Soul “Contemporary Greek/World Music” Volumes 1 and 2.
“I love playing popular melodies on the Bouzouki. My recording, “Greek with a Twist” contains many of my favorite American Standards. “
In 2016 Chris relocated back to his home town of St. Louis, MO. He continues to travel and entertain at Greek Festivals, Weddings and Big Fat Greek Parties.
Chris completed his most recent EP entitled “Greek Chill”. This features five original instrumental tunes, written and recorded in his new home studio.
In 2023 Chris is focusing on writing and recording new music to be sold as sync-licensing contractual agreements for TV Shows, Films and Commercials.
Also, in 2023, Chris and his beautiful wife Tina plan to some traveling and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Oh yes, great food and wine too!
Chris’ music is available for download on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify and on his web site: www.csarantakis.com