Date of Birth:November 14, 1954
Yanni is a self-taught pianist who began his musical career by giving recitals for family members. Early in his life, he was also a competitive swimmer in Greece and set a national record in the 50-meter freestyle competition. He later attended the University of Minnesota and earned a B.A. in psychology. After graduation, Yanni chose to attempt a career in music, although he could not read music and had no formal training. Using his own form of musical shorthand, he began writing original works.
While a student at the University of Minnesota, Yanni joined an up-and-coming local group called Chameleon where he met drummer Charlie Adams. Chameleon earned some modest commercial success touring throughout the Midwest, particularly in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and South Dakota.
Eventually, Yanni grew tired of the rock and roll lifestyle and focused solely on his instrumental career as a soloist. He moved to Los Angeles and eventually formed a small band including Charlie Adams and John Tesh. His music is frequently described as "new age", though he prefers the term "contemporary instrumental".