Jaime Lee Frank (lead vocals)
Her powerhouse lead vocals and energy on stage create a dynamic performance at any venue. Jaime Lee grew up in rural Minnesota listening to female country greats such as Patsy Cline, Linda Ronstadt, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire. Her first taste of the stage was at just 7 years old, and since then it has become her favorite place to be. She has a double BA in Music Education and Elementary Education and is a Choir teacher in the valley; but Jaime Lee says her "true passion is performing in front of the crowd".
Over the past several years Jaime Lee has had many opportunities to do just that.
Prior to joining Tequila Highway, she was one half of the Desert Gold Duo that performed as the house band at the Horny Toad in Cave Creek, Arizona. Other than performing around the Valley, Jaime Lee has been blessed to tour in Hong Kong with a Christian Ministry group as their lead singer for two summers in a row performing over 60 shows in just 21 days!
Unlike many artists, Jaime Lee did not come from a musical family and was also the first one in her immediate family to graduate from college. She attributes her passion and drive to pursue music as a career to her wonderful and supportive family and friends. With her voice being compared to the likeness of Martina McBride and Carrie Underwood, paired with her sweet but sassy attitude, Jaime Lee is bound to wow a crowd whenever she performs.
Mark Soto (bass, vocals, guitar)
Born in Phoenix, AZ Mark began playing guitar at the age of 13, but started formally playing classical guitar when he was just 14 years old. Mark played all through high school to include lead guitarist in jazz band and the 4th bass drum in marching band. As a classical guitarist he excelled in classical music placing in many competitions as a soloist and duet player.
Mark’s love for playing music continued after high school, while majoring in music as a jazz guitarist, he performed with Gaynel Hodge (most commonly known for writing 'Earth Angel' & 'Now and Forever') at Phoenix’s #1 Night Club Chez Nous. Mark also had the opportunity to play jazz guitar for the “City Of Phoenix Jazz Band” And played throughout the valley. In 1993 while serving in the U.S. Army overseas in Bosnia, Mark entered in a talent show put on by the USO and won 1st Place playing acoustic guitar with fellow soldiers. In 2000 Mark returned to Phoenix, AZ and joined up with his brother Martin and both started a Beatles tribute band named “The Offbeat”. The band had no bass player so Mark made the switch to bass guitar. In 2006 Mark wanted more of a variety and auditioned for a band named “Pug Mahoney”.
After a year with Pug Mahoney Mark had played some of the greatest classic rock tunes and
made many friends along the way. In late 2007 Mark started a new group called "Radio 64” with one of these friends and in 2009, with various line-up changes, they were able to put together a very talented group of musicians and formed “Tequila Highway” which has grown to become one of the premier Country/Rock bands in Arizona.
Louis Leonhart (lead guitar)
For Texas native Louis Leonhart, music is more than just a hobby. Over the past 15 years as a professional player, he has developed a versatile and dynamic playing style that he describes as gritty and clean. An accomplished jazz musician, he has been invited to play at the Montreaux and North Sea jazz festivals on several occasions, and has developed curriculum for various music education programs and
While proficient in most genres of music, Louis considers country music to be the most fun and challenging due to the hybrid picking styles and fast 16th note runs commonly found in modern contemporary country music. His first band, Serum, which he formed with high school friends, enjoyed moderate success, gaining regular radio airplay and attention from several major record labels before disbanding in 2000.
He joined the U.S. Army in September of 2001, and served several tours in Iraq
and Afghanistan in both a military and civilian capacity before permanently returning home in 2010. He recently re-located to Phoenix with his dog Buddy, and has begun to immerse himself into the local music community once again.
When not playing music, Louis enjoys working as a Network Engineer for a local valley company.
Marie Marafioti (rhythm guitar)
Marie has had a passion for music and guitar for as long as she can remember. Her dad, being a guitarist, taught her the basics at the very early age. At the age of 8, she debuted performing Amazing Grace in church alongside her father.
As a teenager and into her early adult years, Marie played in various rock bands around the valley as their lead guitarist. After moving to Austin, TX for 10 years and playing music there, Marie returned to the valley of the sun and dove right back into the local music scene.
From rock goddess to country - Marie joins Tequila Highway for the opportunity to cross over to a lighter side playing the acoustic guitar, but still breaks out her electric on a few songs! On occasion, she will also get together with friends to play the rock scene around town as she will always be a rocker at heart.
When she's not performing, Marie enjoys spending time with her family and friends and adores her chocolate lab Brodie.
Having a strong dedication to dogs, she earned a certificate in dog behavioral training and volunteered her time training homeless dogs at shelters in the Austin area. She hopes to continue that involvement here in the valley.
As a business woman, Marie is a REALTOR® for one of the largest brokerage companies in the valley of the sun, HomeSmart. She loves her job and strives to exceed her clients expectations in making their real estate dreams a reality.
Jay Peterson (drums)
Jay Peterson has been playing the drums since he was just six years old. He cut his teeth on country and folk music and played with some glam metal bands in the 80's.
After that he toured in Europe with Ron Keel and the Rattlers and then joined the band "Everywhere West", which was nominated for multiple awards including the Crescendo award and released the first all original western music album in 40 years".
Jay has established himself as an accomplished drummer for over the past twenty years, performing in many different local bands in the Phoenix area and has also impressively backed up such great artists as Rex Allen Jr., Roy Rogers Jr. and Buddy Owens.
In his downtime, Jay stays very active and enjoys fitness including martial arts and P90X and also is a big supporter of the Denver Broncos.
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