Profiles in Percussion:
A Conversation with Christos Rafalides

With a background and degrees in Jazz Vibraphone Performance from Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music, Christos Rafalides has exploded on the jazz music scene with collaborations ranging from the legendary Charles Mingus ‘Epitaph’ band to Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz At Lincoln Center band, to world class musicians such as drummer Antonio Sanchez, pianist Giovanni Mirabassi, bassist Petros Klampanis and Italian pop star Jovanotti. His own band ‘Manhattan Vibes’ has a distinct New York sound, featuring Christos’ unique combination of the acoustic vibraphone with the Pearl MalletStation midi keyboard.

His latest project, ‘Silver Lining’ was released on May 27th, 2022, streaming on all major platforms and is available for pre-save now:

Anders Åstrand caught up with Christos to talk about his latest projects and get an inside look at how he effectively incorporates electronics in his compositions and performances.

Our interview with Christos features excerpts from several of his recent appearances, including “On Second Thought”, “Bud Powell”, “Better Days Ahead” and “Soraya”. To check out full performances of these and more, check out and Christos’ YouTube channel.

Watch more performances


Christos was born and raised in Greece, where he completed his studies in classical percussion. After receiving a scholarship from Berklee College of Music, he moved to Boston, attaining a BA in Jazz Vibraphone Performance and later moved to New York, where he graduated from Manhattan School of Music earning his MA in Jazz Vibraphone Performance.

Christos found his personal voice when he established ‘Manhattan Vibes’, a band that has appeared at numerous New York cutting-edge venues including the Blue Note, the Jazz Standard, Smoke Jazz Club and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. Highlights of his career include performances with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Wynton Marsalis, a US tour with the Charles Mingus ‘Epitaph’ Band featuring bassist Christian McBride and conductor Gunther Schuller, a recording with the Harmony Ensemble of NY of Henry Mancini’s ‘Peter Gunn’ featuring Lew Soloff, Ronnie Cuber and Victor Lewis, recordings with vocalist Chaka Khan and a duo performance at Carnegie Hall with pianist Sergio Salvatore.

For several years, Christos was a guest faculty member at the ‘Zeltsman Marimba Festival’ which took place every summer in different parts of the world. He also has an Artist Residency at the ‘Music Village’ in Greece.
His original works for mallets are published from Emarel Music and are being played in concerts around the world.



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