Yiannis Salamalekis

Growing up in a musical family, I started playing the drums at the age of 5 when my parents bought me a drum kit after getting tired of me taking all my mom's pots and pans out every night and pounding on them while my father, practiced his bouzouki. By the age of 7, instead of accompanying my father, Stavros Salamalekis, on the drums, I admired him and began learning from him the bouzouki.

My first performance was in front of a crowd of 300 people at the age of 8 at a Church Dance in Cleveland playing along side my father's band "STAVROS & THE PROFESSIONALS". I accompanied the band a few times, but then became interested in the guitar. After a couple of lessons, I put together my first rock band called "Lead Heart" at the age of 11. Ironically my interest went back to the drums, and I began playing in the school symphony. At the age of 16, I was asked to join the popular Greek band "A NIGHT IN ATHENS" as the drummer along side legends, John Politis and John Antonopoulos. After 2 years of playing at the famous "Plaka Restaurant" and extensive touring with that band, I decided to leave and become a permanent member of "STAVROS & THE PROFESSIONALS", and to this day, I am still an active member. I started out as the drummer, but soon switched as a bass player, and now also have guitar and vocal duties. Playing along side my father has always been an honor and a privilege and very fun when we collaborate on songs. Playing with almost every local band and musician in the Ohio area, I gained a vast majority of experience that has made me an asset in the Greek Music Industry.

Along side my good friend Taki, we formed and co-lead Stigma. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many great singers and musicians.  Among them, Christos Aggelopoulos, Stella Hronaiou, Nikos Sarantou, violinist Nikos Hatzopoulos, clarinetist, Yiannis Vafiadis and clarinet legend Kostas Sevastakis. My love of music and the passion to perform is why I am still in the business today after 26 years. The sense I get every time I am onstage is always filled with fun and excitement and that is what I always want to present to the audience.