Astral Mixtape is a multifaceted band of LA-based musicians. Their original compositions and arrangements synthesize the music of their generation with classical instrumental virtuosity.
They joyfully combine the spectacle of pop, the spontaneity of jazz, and the experimentation of contemporary music.
Joining forces in 2020, Astral Mixtape has performed in eclectic venues across the US and Canada. Recent engagements have included the Banff Centre in Canada, the Eagles Theatre in Indiana, the 1905 in Oregon, Tr!pLA in Santa Monica, and The Art of Living Foundation in Los Angeles. Their music has been featured in numerous film soundtracks, animated shorts, music videos, and electronic collaborations. In August of 2021 their full-length visual album titled Astral Plains, was released online, produced in collaboration with the Santa Monica College Film Department and support from the Banff Centre.
Astral Mixtape is:
Misha Vayman is a professional violinist, educator, and dog lover. He has performed in a wide variety of contexts, from opening for Dorian Electra to soloing with various orchestras in the United States, Mexico, Russia, and China. Animals have been known to enjoy his playing, as do some people. In fact, he has twice won the Grand Prize in the international ENKOR Competition, once in the Solo division, and once in the Chamber Music division. The latter he accomplished as part of the greatest piano trio in the world, the Benefic Piano Trio.
With his genre hopping band Astral Mixtape, Misha has been featured at a variety of venues across Los Angeles and at multiple international music festivals. Mixtape’s most recent release is an hour long music video titled “Astral Plains”, a phantasmagoric and smoky journey through different plains of consciousness.
Misha is part of Delirium Musicum, a chamber orchestra known to bend time and space to their will with no regard for anyone's safety. He is prominently featured in many rehearsal outtakes, “keeping it light”.
Misha is a recent graduate of the USC Thornton School of Music. Before that, he attended the Colburn Conservatory, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. A lot of practice was done at all three, and now he’s good, and doesn’t need to practice at all.
Juan-Salvador Carrasco is the cellist and co-founder of Astral Mixtape. The group collaboratively composes and performs original works that draw inspiration from multiple musical genres. Juan-Salvador has performed as a soloist with orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Stage, and Auditorio Blas Galindo (Mexico City). He has performed chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, Phil Setzer (Emerson Quartet), Anthony McGill (NY Phil principal clarinetist), and Robert Chen (CSO concertmaster). His orchestral experience includes performances with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Delirium Musicum, and the Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra. Juan-Salvador was awarded First Prize at USC Thornton’s 2019 Solo Bach Competition. He has also competed as a semi-finalist in the Nationwide Sphinx Competition. Juan-Salvador has attended summer festivals such as the Heifetz Institute Chamber Music Seminar, PyeongChang Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, and the Perlman Music Program. He has also performed as a member of the Heifetz Ensemble in Residence (HEIR). Juan-Salvador's primary cello teachers were Ralph Kirshbaum (USC’s Thornton School of Music, M.M. and G.C.), Hans Jorgen Jensen (Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, B.M.), Ron Leonard (Colburn Academy), and Eleonore Schoenfeld.
Nathan Ben-Yehuda has been recognized as an emerging musician of impassioned energy and integrity. He has been a prize winner at the Yamaha Young Performing Artist award and the Seattle International Piano Competition, among many others.
He has worked closely with such composers as George Lewis, Kaija Saariaho, Oliver Knussen and Thomas Ades. Nathan has held a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he performed in a variety of new music and chamber music groups, and took part in a complete performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux alongside pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and performed Nancarrow Studies on two pianos with composer/pianist Thomas Adès.
He has been featured in live broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 “In Tune” as well as on WMHT Radio. He has appeared on Musiqu3 TV in Beligium as a competitor in the 2021 Queen Elisabeth competition. He recently was one of two pianists invited to the Taos School of Music, directed by Robert McDonald, and perform as part of their young artist chamber music series.
He is also the pianist for the Victory Players, a recently formed new music ensemble based in Holyoke, MA. Having earned degrees from Juilliard and Royal Academy of Music in London, he is now faculty at Cal Lutheran University.
Michael Siess enjoys a dynamic career as a professional violinist, having performed in eclectic venues across the world as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician. He was appointed to the first violin section of the Pacific Symphony in the fall of 2022 while also regularly appearing with ensembles such as Delirium Musicum and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. An active recording artist, Michael has played on numerous Hollywood soundtracks and albums. Recent highlights have included work on Avatar 2 and The Orville as well as upcoming records with Delirum Musicum and The String Theory.
Beginning his musical studies in Portland, OR, Michael holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and USC Thornton School of Music, studying with Margaret Batjer, William Preucil, and Itzhak Perlman. Over the summers he has performed at a variety of festivals including the Perlman Music Program, Aspen Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival and the Banff Centre’s Evolution: Classical.
Michael is a founding member of the genre-bending band, Astral Mixtape. Their original music and arrangements can be heard in numerous film soundtracks, animated shorts, music videos, electronic productions, and in live venues across the West Coast. Astral Mixtape’s debut visual album, “Astral Plains” is now available online.