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Greg Chako

Guitarist and business entrepreneur Greg Chako has traveled his own Yellow Brick Road before reaching his personal Oz as a working musician, composer, and entertainment promoter. Chako began taking guitar lessons at the age of ten, at 11 coming in second in a musical contest sponsored by the American Guild of Music, later earning a scholarship to Berklee School of Music where he made dean's list. After three years at Berklee, he went to New York where, while working in restaurant kitchens, he discovered he had a flair for culinary art. Later working as a chef in Amherst, MA, he kept his hand in as a musician playing in the lounge at the hotel where he cooked. While in Amherst, Chako found he had a talent as a promoter, putting on jazz concerts and festivals. This allowed him to work with the likes of Slide Hampton, Bill Hardman, and other professional jazz artists. After his sojourn in Amherst, he returned to his hometown of Cincinnati where he taught, had a band, and was a booking agent. The latter once again provided the chance to play with top-flight jazz performers including Herb Ellis and Jimmy Raney. He returned to New York, began composing, but also developed carpal tunnel syndrome, which caused extended lay-offs from playing. Marriage to an Asian woman eventually took him to Hong Kong where he eased the effect of his wrist problem with Tai Chi, allowing him to regularly perform again. Moving to Singapore in 1994, he eventually landed a steady gig at one of the world's most famous resting spots, Raffles. Never being content with just one activity, Chako formed and operates Chako Productions PTE, which offers a wide variety of entertainment promotional and production services. Beginning in 1994, Chako has released five albums under his name. The first three were pretty much devoted to standards and material composed by others. But his last two, Integration and Integration II released in 2000 and 2001, respectively, are vehicles for his highly creative compositional skills. Despite his performing and business demands, Chako has found time to organize support groups such as Adult Children of Alcoholics in Singapore. ~ Dave Nathan, Rovi
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