Led by vocalist Erik Martinez, Velocity performs an expansive repertoire, including jazz standards, R&B, Soul, Motown, Classic Rock, Contemporary Top 40, and everything in between. The band features world-class talent who have performed alongside Chaka Khan, Common, Wynton Marsalis, and Dianna Krall!
The inclusion of 3 lead vocalists in a 7-piece band is unique in Chicagoland, and it allows Velocity to perform with uncommon versatility. The band can be expanded by adding horns and violins as well. At any size, Velocity is a perfect choice for your special event!
Well-versed in rock, pop, R&B, and jazz, Erik Martinez is thrilled to be a part of the Arlen Music family. He has performed all over the United States at many of the finest venues from Los Angeles to New York with artists such as Kurt Elling, Fred Hersch, Norma Winstone, Darmon Meader, and Bobby McFerrin. He has performed in 80's bands, funk bands, and party bands and has 15 years’ experience as a professional singer. Before singing professionally he received a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University and toured with the acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble Gold Company all over the United States and abroad. He has also been seen entertaining audiences in Mexico, the Bahamas, Spain, South Africa, and Turkey. He now enjoys using his experience singing all over the world to create amazing customized musical experiences for Velocity's fantastic clients. When not singing Erik enjoys working as a Physical Therapist, coaching baseball for his twins, and running ultramarathons.Read More
Carya Holmes is a versatile vocalist with over 20 years of experience. Carya has been honored to open for Chaka Khan at the Taste of Chicago, serenading the crowd with the National Anthem. She's appeared as a guest vocalist in Regina Taylor's play, Crowns, and she can be heard on music tracks with artists including Common and STAIND. Her soulful, melodic tone is a perfect match for Velocity!
Since graduating with a jazz performance/jazz voice degree from Roosevelt University, Leslie Beukelman has forged a central role in the Chicago music scene, thriving on her versatility as a musician and performer. She has been praised by many of Chicago’s top media outlets, being described as an “edgy and adventurous jazz and rock singer” (Neil Tesser, the Examiner) and an “Exquisite vocalist… (who has) mastered genres as vast as soul, melodic jazz, scat, rock and atonal experimentation…”(Lucia Mauro, Chicago Tribune). Leslie can be seen performing regularly around the city of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs in various projects belting out top 40 hits, engaging audiences with new original music, and creating improvised music alongside the city’s top musicians. She is excited to share her impressive talent with Velocity!
A native of the Chicago area, Paul has been playing piano since the young age of 6. As a high school senior, Paul won Illinois All-State jazz pianist and was awarded the Bertha Frost Scholarship by the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. At the university he studied under Doug Bickel and Shelly Berg and played in Miami's prestigious CJB Jazz Band and Miami Sextet. Paul now performs regularly around the Chicago area playing in various musical settings. Recently he toured and recorded in Italy with jazz group El Portal and has performed with such notables as Jim Black, Maria Schneider, Ira Sullivan, and Von Freeman. Paul is excited to be part of Velocity!
Since moving to Chicago from Florida in 1993, Tim Fox has established himself as one the most in-demand bassists in the city. Tim has performed with Chris Siebold & Psycles, M13, and has enjoyed long standing chairs in Rob Parton's JazzTech Big Band, the Illinois USO Troop, and Jeff Newell's New-Trad Octet. He was also the bassist for Chicago's record breaking six-year run of the musical Forever Plaid. Tim has toured in the U.S. and Europe, and often appears with artists passing through Chicago on tour, such as Dick Oates, Dave Berkman, George Garzone, Uri Caine, Ralph Alessi, Don Byron and Jim Black. While living in Florida, he worked regularly with Nat Adderly, and Buddy DeFranco. Tim has degrees from Florida State University and DePaul University, and has taught at Lake Forest College and Maine East High School. He currently resides in Crete, IL, with his wife and two children.
Drummer Lucas Gillan originally began making music in his hometown of Tucson, AZ, where he performed in punk rock clubs, churches, all-city jazz ensembles and youth orchestras. Since moving to the Chicago area, Lucas has enjoyed an active freelance career, regularly performing at venues including the Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, Lincoln Hall and Constellation. He has toured around the Midwest, in New York, and at the South By Southwest Music Festival. He leads and composes for a jazz quartet called Lucas Gillan’s Many Blessings, and is a member of the popular soul/R&B band The Right Now. We’re delighted to have him as a part of Velocity!
Jim Tashjian has been playing and performing music since he was 5 years old. At the Chicago College of Performing Arts, he had the opportunity to perform with notable jazz artists like Paul Wertico and Wynton Marsalis, and he was featured in the 2009 film "Public Enemies," starring Johnny Depp, backing up jazz superstar Dianna Krall. Jim is a freelance performer and teacher in Chicago, and is involved in numerous original music projects including; District 97, a progressive hard rock band, Miss Remember, an indy rock band of which he is the primary composer, and a trio he leads with bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jon Deitemyer. He is excited to bring his multifaceted guitar technique to Velocity!
Olivia Hoyt and Ben Grant Wedding – June 1, 2019
VELOCITY IS THE BEST!!!! We had Velocity (led by Erik) play at our wedding earlier this month. And WOW WOW WOW were they fantastic. If you want fantastic music and a full dance floor all night-- hire Velocity! Our guests had the best time and loved the band. Velocity truly rocks!Olivia, Bride
Anna Potter and Doug Collett Wedding (Terre Haute, IN) – November 24, 2018
Wow, what an amazing night we had with your band! Doug and Anna were thrilled, as were John and I. Terre Haute will be talking about Velocity for a long time to come. Thanks you for the memories!Sallee Collett, Mother of the Groom
Amanda Hughes Wedding – October 6, 2018
You and the band were beyond phenomenal on Saturday! Thank you so much for making our wedding so amazing! Everyone has been texting and calling me and saying how much they loved you guys. Thank you - everything was so wonderful.
Blaine Turner and Matt Mastenbrook Wedding (Millennium Knickerbocker) – August 25, 2018
We had the Velocity band within Arlen Music Productions as our wedding band, and I can't imagine having a better wedding band! The 3 singers are absolutely incredible! The flow of the night was flawless, and they sounded amazing. I have gotten SO MANY compliments on this band choice. My guests had an absolute BLAST because of how they entertained SO HARD all night! They have an incredible range for the types of music that they can perform and their energy is amazing. They were great to work with! There were SO many people on the dance floor all night for every song which is an achievement!!!Blaine, Bride
Caroline Parsons and Ryan Swan Wedding – August 18, 2018
I can’t begin to thank you enough for arranging to have Velocity play at Caroline and Ryan’s wedding reception. Honestly, Erik and his fellow musicians made the evening. If I heard one compliment more than any other in the hours, days, and weeks following the wedding, it was how great the band was. As you know, from the opening dance to the last song of the night, the dance floor was packed. I don’t think I have ever seen that happen and I couldn’t be happier that the first time I witnessed it was at Caroline’s reception.
I want you to know that I will forever feel indebted to you for making our special evening all the more memorable. I really can’t thank you enough.
Erin Potocki and Greg Wycklendt Wedding (Chicago Illuminating Company) – August 11, 2018
We used Velocity for our wedding in August 2018 and they were AMAZING! Several guests said they were the best wedding band they'd ever seen. They knew just how to keep the energy up all night, and the dance floor stayed crowded the whole time. They even took our special requests into consideration. For example, I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to use as a "siblings" dance in lieu of a father/daughter dance (my father passed away), so about an hour before the wedding I finally told them what song I wanted and assumed they were going to play it like a DJ track. It's an old song that's not at all common, so I was shocked when the time came and they played it live themselves as opposed to just playing the recording. It was so impressive that they learned it that quickly for me. We are so happy with our choice of Velocity and would recommend them to anyone!Erin, Bride
Jill Puttrich and Jeff Dennhardt Wedding (Grand Geneva Resort) – July 21, 2018
We recently had Velocity play at our wedding. Wow is all I have to say! Our guests danced from the start until the band ended. They were polished and professional, not to mention really, really good! Awesome night! Awesome band!Jill, Bride
Molly Rintz and Sean Lane Wedding (Glen View Club) – July 14, 2018
We just got back from our honeymoon, and we wanted to take a minute to thank you and the entire band for an incredible night at our wedding. We've received so many compliments on the band, and for both of us, the music was one of the highlights of the entire day.
Thanks for being so flexible to requests and helpful to us during the planning process. You were by far one of the easiest vendors to work with, and we really appreciated it.
Brittany Cummings Wedding (Drake Oak Brook) - June 22, 2018
Jason and I wanted to thank you and the whole band for being amazing and blowing our expectations away! Everyone can't stop telling us how great you all were and it was truly one of the most fun nights of our lives!
Amy Reichstein and Brandon Stec Wedding (Renaissance Chicago North Shore) - March 3, 2018
My wife, Marcie, and I would like to thank you for making our daughter’s wedding spectacular.
Velocity, with special thanks to Erik Martinez, provided the perfect backdrop for each element of the evening. We truly believe that while guests attend to celebrate an occasion, it is the music that sets the tone. Velocity proved this to be true.
Probably the best compliment we can pay you is that many guests remarked that if they ever got married again you would be called upon to provide the music. In fact we are still getting calls complimenting us on the night and especially the music.
So, thank you and your entire crew for making the evening everything we could have hoped for.