Primary Instrument: Guitar
Guitarist , Composer , Music Professor , Head of the Modern and Jazz Music Department at Ph. Nakas Conservatory, Athens Greece
Studies: Berklee College of Music (Jazz Performance Diploma '89 and Professional Music Diploma '88 ) , Hellenic Conservatory ( Classical Guitar Diploma '82 )
Performance: During his stay in the USA (1983-'89) he played with jazz and pop-rock groups at some of Boston's best-known clubs. He took part in several recordings in Berklee, the most important involving compositions by Rafael Reina and Jessica Lange along with the Boston Symphony Orchestra/String section. He returned to Athens, Greece in 1990 and he played with the most celebrated musicians in the local jazz scene. In 1991 he was a guest musician to perform with the Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra at a special international tribute to the memory of Maria Callas at the Herod Atticus Theatre in Athens, an event that was given live coverage by 150 television stations worldwide. Since then, Costas Baltazanis is an active jazz player performing in Greece, Spain, Finland, Israel, Luxemburg, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Germany. Some of the people he has played with are Arturo Sandoval, Kenwood Dennard, Ron Savage, Ray Santisi, Greg Badolato, Larry Monroe, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Jim Kelly, Rick Pekham.
Costas Baltazanis plays : electric guitar, nylon string guitar, steel string guitar, fretless guitar and bass guitar.
IASIS: In 1995 he formed IASIS,along with Petros Kourtis on Percussion and Yiotis Kiourtsoglou on Bass, a group performing his own compositions in the field of world fusion. He performed with IASIS in a big number of major concerts in Greece (the Athens Concert Hall, Ancient theatre of Epidaurus and other key halls and festivals) Spain, Germany and Luxemburg. The band has collaborated on stage with several leading performers including Omar Faruk Tekbilek, the Bulgarian Voices and Giorgos Dalaras.
IASIS recorded and produced 'Iasis' ('96), 'Amalgama' ('99) with guest singers from the Bulgarian Voices and one CD single 'Amalgama mix' (2000) under the label of 'LYRA RECORDS'. Later they recorded 'Duente' (2003) under the label of 'EMARCY'.
Teaching : He started as a Guitar and Harmony teacher at Ph. Nakas Conservatory ('91 - '92) and later taught Ear Training, Jazz Composition, Ensembles and Improvisation courses. He has been giving lectures and seminars in all major cities in Greece. For two consecutive summers (1996 and 1997), Costas Baltazanis was invited by Berklee College of Music to teach and give concerts for the students and the teachers of the Guitar Department. . In 1998 he took part, along with Berklee professors, in a jazz festival in Bulgaria involving performances and seminars. In 1999 the same team of teachers performed and gave seminars in Cyprus. In the same year he traveled to Helsinki, Finland as a member of the Berklee College Scholarship Committee and he also gave lessons and Lectures to the students of 'Pop and Jazz Conservatory'. Next year a similar kind of event took place in Barcelona, Spain and he taught students of 'L' Aula of the Conservatory del Liceu'. In 2002 he traveled in Tel Aviv, Israel as a guest teacher in 'The Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music' where he taught classes, gave Lectures and played for the students. Some of his lecture topics are: 'Jazz Improvisation', 'Super imposed Harmony', 'Triadic improvisation',' Modal Improvisation', 'Teaching Jazz', 'Psychology while playing and practicing music', Odd Meters in Greek Folk and how to use them in fusion and jazz'. During his 15 year experience Costas Baltazanis has taught more than 2000 students in his private or group classes. His students are today's professional players and teachers all over Europe. Costas Baltazanis has written three educational books entitled 'Music Theory and Ear Training', 'Jazz Harmony' and 'Electric Guitar', which are taught in universities and music schools throughout Greece. His work with Ph. Nakas Conservatory: His association with Philippos Nakas Conservatory started in 1991 and in '93 he became the Head Director of the Modern and Jazz Music Department. He designed the Course Curriculum at Nakas Conservatory and his input with Berklee College of Music led to the association of the two schools, creating the credit articulation program (first two years of Berklee can be taught in Athens). Through his position he has organized and has been responsible for a big number of festivals, contests, seminars, lectures, discussions, guest artist concerts, teacher and student concerts etc. He is now responsible for 550 students and 60 teachers in 10 different schools in 5 different cities.