Born in Greece, at the age of 8 he started learning classical guitar in the National Conservatory of Athens. Later, he attended private classical and electric guitar lessons and started getting into different kinds of music like rock, reggae and jazz, taking part in music groups, concerts and studio recordings. Together with his private musical studies , he graduated from the department of Economics and Political Sciences of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Yannis got in touch with Indian classical music in 2000, when he attended his first Tabla lessons from Lefteris Mitropoulos in Athens. Since 2003 he started going to India, focusing more on his studies on Tabla, in the city of Benares (Varanasi). He became a disciple of Pt. Kishan Ramdohkar ji, an eminent Tabla-player from Benares, preserver of the legacy of the Tabla legend Pt. Anokhey Lal Mishra. In 2013 Yannis got his Diploma on Tabla from Prayag Sangeet Samiti University (Allahabad- India), and since 2018 he was under the guidance of the great master, Late Pt.Subhankar Banerjee from Kolkata.
To widen his musical horizons he studied the Tabla repertoire for Indian classical dance, Kathak, under the guidance of the well-known dancer and Tabla player from Benares, Pt. Ravi Shankar Mishra . Moreover, he attended Dhrupad singing classes, three masterclass Tabla workshops by Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra, and the workshop ''Poetry of Rhythm” by the Zarb masters Djamjid & Bijan Chemirani.
Yannis has been trained for more than 20 years in the four aspects of classical Tabla playing, which are accompanying vocal, instruments, kathak dance and performing Tabla solo. His knowledge on Indian musical tradition together with his Greek / Mediterranean origin, helped him create a unique style of accompanying different kinds of traditional and contemporary music, with a sensitive
approach on the tuning and the sound of the Tabla drums. Combining the richness of improvisation and mathematical patterns that characterize Indian classical music, with the delicate and groovy accompaniment of the different musical styles in Greece, he searches to find new ways of expression through the Tabla in the contemporary world of music.
In January 2021, together with Giorgos Papaioannou, they released the album Borago, with their own compositions based on Greek, Indian, Turkish and other musical traditions.
Yannis is active teaching and performing around the world in several collaborations of Indian classical or contemporary music. He has also founded Wild Forest Retreat at Pelion, a place in the nature for musical, yoga and other retreats.
Excerpts from the live concert in Athens (Greece) on the 3rd of June 2016, at Πangea World Music Center Raga Charukeshi in vilambit & drut …
Improvisatios in a Turkish folk melody, from our first cd.
Shira Whitman Kathak dance , Tavor Ben Dor Sitar , Yannis Zannis Tabla
From a concert in Rethymno , June 2015 Alap & Vilambit TeenTaal in Raga Jogkaunsh Ido Segal – Hansa Veena Yannis Zannis – Tabla
Excerpt from the Tabla solo of Yannis Zannis at the Open Air Theater of Horto, at Pelio, Greece, on the 18th July 2015. Sitar accompaniment …
Tabla solo in Teental Yannis Zannis – Tabla Gumi Nakaguchi – Harmonium
Tabla Uthan in Vilambit Teental – Yannis Zannis Tabla / Leo Fernadez Veena (lahara) Athens Greece , 6 June 2013 at Paionia.
From Kathak Dance performance by Christina Zanni, Athens Greece , 6 June 2013 at Paionia.
Dr. Jibendra Narayan Goswami ~ SITAR Erik Alsen – SHEINAI Yannis Zannis – TABLA Live concert at Museum Benaki – Athens Greece – June 2010
Raga Charukeshi ~ Reshma Srivastava Sitar & Yannis Zannis Tabla ~ Vilambit teental Concert in ATHENS ( Greece ) at Athenaeum International Cultural Center
Concert in ATHENS ( Greece ) at Athenaeum International Cultural Center 25 May 2013