Guitarist Nikos Ziarkas is best known as the guitarist and co-leader of the experimental-jazz band Valia Calda, the guitarist of the rising tuba star Theon Cross as well as the former lute player of the post Cretan-thrash band Balothizer.
Born in Rhodes (Greece) in a very musical family, he formed multiple teenage rock bands and started experimenting with jazz and free improvisation from a very young age. Together with his older brother, Thodoris Ziarkas, they organised many free improv and jazz events in all the small venues in the town of Rhodes.
He mastered his lute playing next to George Xylouris.
He moved in London in 2011, studied at the jazz department of the Middlesex University of London and has been active in the scene since then. Notable collaborations and works include Theon Cross, Steam Down, Nubya Garcia, Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Zohar Fresco, De’Sean Jones, Jasper Hoiby, Chris Batchelor, James Allsopp.
Described as one of the most exciting and upcoming guitarist and lute players in the London scene, Ziarkas is known for his unique and extended use of guitar pedals and unique sound, his raw and powerful on stage and recording performances, combined with advanced technical skills.
His recording and performing career spans jazz, rock, punk, experimental and folk with multiple recordings tours, radio, tv appearances and performances. Stylistically influenced from guitarists such as Bill Frisell, Nels Cline and Jimi Hendrix as well as jazz giants Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus.
Nikos Ziarkas will release his first solo works through GBD Records in June 2021.