The core group is John Tashjian (piano, vocals), Jim Tashjian (guitar/bass, vocals), and Pete Tashjian (drums, vocals). Brothers that grew up on the Beatles, studied the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, and have listened to everything from Nirvana to Nusrat. Add in the gorgeous vocal stylings of Leslie Beukelman with bass player Martin Stonikas and the band is complete! Their eclectic style and song-list helps to cater to a young party crowd as well as more distinguished settings. Available as a trio or a larger ensemble, MIXTAPE aims to invoke a “can’t wait to see what comes next” reaction from the audience. They comfortable in all different settings, whether a midday celebration or a late-night party. And they are willing to learn any request with enough notice. Add in a BeatMix DJ and horns to really have a non stop dance party!
Leslie Beukelman’s eclectic vocal flair makes her perfect for MIXTAPE Whether baring heart and soul her with singer/songwriter band Brite Lite, bathed in red light in the corner of a bar with her girl trio The Oh Yeahs, rocking out with indie-rock-grunge group Miss Remember, belting out standards with an 18 piece swing band, or adorning a full length gown serenading the newlyweds and their friends in one of the historic ballrooms of Chicago, Leslie loves what she does and it shows. Leslie grew up in the small town of Sandwich, Illinois and soon moved to Chicago to earn her degree in Jazz Voice/Jazz Studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Since then, she has been a first call singer for a variety of groups and studio sessions around the world, in addition to being an active local performer and educator.
(guitar, bass, vocals)
Jim Tashjian is the guitarist’s guitarist. His broad experience allows MIXTAPE to flourish on stage. Jim studied jazz and contemporary music as well as classical guitar at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. In college, he had the opportunity to perform with great jazz artists like Paul Wertico and Wynton Marsalis. In 2009, Jim was featured in the film Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp, backing up jazz superstar Dianna Krall. He is involved in a number of original music projects including District 97; a progressive hard rock band, Miss Remember; an indy rock band that performs his original songs, and a trio he leads with bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jon Deitemyer. Additionally, Jim is an active freelance musician and teacher.
Pete Tashjian is the bedrock of MIXTAPE as his drumming gets the crowd on its feet and dancing. As an active member of the Chicago music scene, Pete has performed with a variety of groups across a range of styles, including Miss Remember, the Goran Ivanovic Trio, Matt Ulery, and Marquis Hill (2014 Thelonious Monk Competition Winner). Since 2010, Pete has been involved in El Sistema US and music education for social change, working with the Tuned-In Program (Peabody Institute) and ORCHkids (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) in Baltimore and the YOURS Project in Chicago. Pete currently leads a bucket band program at SHIFT: Englewood on the south side of Chicago.
Chicago pianist and composer Paul Bedal has developed a unique sound and style. Having attended the University of Miami (FL) for jazz performance and Columbia College Chicago for film scoring, Bedal draws from various styles making him an dynamic presence as a musician and writer. Paul recently released his fourth album, Cerulean Stars in March of 2021. His compositions can also be heard in several indie films and can be seen performing with many of Chicago’s top jazz artists.
Growing up on the west side of Chicago, Jamie started singing at age 5 with her church. She faced many challenges but that didn’t stop this rockstar from soaring to the sky with her vocals!
Jamie has performed all over the city of Chicago from Reggie’s Rock Club, City Winery, Blues on Halsted, Kingston Mines, House of Blues and so many more.
She’s performed background vocals for Jennifer Hudson and has worked with many society bands around the city. Her powerhouse voice is a force to be reckoned with; from Pop, to Rock, to R&B, she can do it all! Jamie loves what she does and it’s evident in every song she sings. We are thrilled to have her power and energy join the Mixtape front line!
(Sax and horn section leader)
After completing graduate studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music and nearly three years at sea as a musical director with Carnival Cruise Lines, Detroit born saxophonist, arranger and composer Aaron McEvers settled in Chicago in 1999. At home playing alto, tenor, soprano saxophone and flute, Aaron has performed throughout the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. He is the founder of M13, for which he composes or arranges all the music. He is also a member of Chris Siebold’s PSYCLES and John Elmquist’s Hard Art Groop. An active educator, he teaches music theory and jazz saxophone at the Merit School of Music, private lessons in Chicago (Whitney Young High School) and in Winnetka at the acclaimed New Trier High School. Along with playing, he writes and performs commercial music for T.V. spots and continues to write for other organizations and individual performers in Chicago and abroad. Several of his horn arrangements can also be heard in the 2011 feature film “Hoodwinked Too”, where he can also be heard on the soundtrack.