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!
(leader, rapper, vocals, keyboard)
John Tashjian’s musical talent is on full display with MIXTAPE. Whether he’s singing, rapping, playing keys, or doing all three, John is an electric presence on stage. After graduating from Augustana College, John returned to the Chicago where he continues to play, perform, and write and performing with his brothers, Jim and Pete. John is a favorite at his other stomping ground, Howl at the Moon Chicago, entertaining locals and tourists when not performing with MIXTAPE.
(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.
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.