Described by JazzTimes as a “formidable bassist and composer,” Petros Klampanis grew up on the Greek island of Zakynthos, surrounded by the confluence of Mediterranean and Balkan folk music. To pursue his musical passions, he dropped out of the Polytechnic School in Athens and in 2005 he began his double bass performance studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory. In 2008, he completed his formal studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music in New York.
Since his relocation to New York City, Klampanis has performed alongside some of the city’s renowned jazz musicians, including saxophonist Greg Osby, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, and drummer Ari Hoenig. In addition to his extensive list of appearances locally in New York, including the storied venues of Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, he has performed at the internationally acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival and the Palatia Jazz Festival in Germany.
His relationship with Greg Osby led to the release of his début album, Contextual, on the saxophonist’s Inner Circle Music label. The album was praised by acclaimed bassist Arild Andersen as “one of the most exciting projects I have heard from a bass player in years.” Klampanis has received equal praise for his playing and composing. Fellow bassist Drew Gress notes his “aggressive melodicism, beautiful intonation, and uniquely personal string writing.” In 2012, Klampanis was invited by the Liepaja Symphony Orchestra for a series of concerts throughout Latvia. His arrangement of the Greek folk song “Thalassaki” was recently performed by the Greek Public Symphonic Orchestra in Athens, with whom Klampanis will tour in December 2013.
Petros Klampanis is also an in-demand educator. He has given workshops internationally, and serves as a guest lecturer at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio and the Ionian Academy of Music in Greece. He is currently working on his second album, to be released in 2014, with Contextual bandmates Jean-Michel Pilc, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, percussionist John Hadfield, and a string quartet.