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.
His newest CD entitled “Greek with a Twist” presents Chris performing American Standards on the authentic Bouzouki.
In 2016 Chris relocated back home to St. Louis, MO. He continues to travel and entertain, pleasing audiences of young and old with his live performances.
All of Chris’ CD’s mentioned are available for digital download on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon Music or at www.csarantakis.com
Chris has recently completed his new CD entitled "Greek Chill" which was recorded in his new home studio. This will be released in Dec 2020.