Steve Meisner was born April 17th, 1961 in Beloit, Wisconsin and
was raised in Whitewater, where he currrently resides. He began playing the piano
accordion at age five, performing soon after on stage with his father, Verne Meisner. By
age 6, he was winning local talent contests and building the foundation for what has been
a life long career in music.
Taking lessons from his Dad was not an easy task, but playing music was. "When you
are a kid, it's important to do something that you see your Dad doing. When I was young I
was exposed to crowds of people dancing and having a good time while Dad, my hero,
provided all the enjoyment. So you can see that it was no chore for me to want to play
With an abundance of inspiration around him and a real desire to play music, Steve became
interested in learning how to play other instruments. At age 9, his next instrument of
choice was the cornet which he played with the Washington Grade School Band and Whitewater
Junior High Band before moving onto the tuba in High School. Because of his early
accordion lessons from his father, reading bass and treble clefs was made easier and
eventually lead him to other instruments. "Reading music was always difficult for me
because my ear was always quicker than my eyes, and more accurate too. I'll never forget
the time my High School band teacher, Mr. D., asked me to stand and play a part of a song
correctly for the trumpet section. He was a very intuitive musician and knew I wasn't
reading either, but knew I'd play the part correctly by ear. At my reluctance, he
encouraged me to sign up for solo competition during the State Band Competitions. I ended
up with 1st place metals for the Band and Solo competitions. I'll always be thankful to
all of my music teachers for their encouragement."
At age 12, the experimenting continued with the bass guitar, one which Judy, his mother,
bought from a neighbor at a rummage sale. By 15, he was performing full time with the
Verne Meisner Orchestra and the New Frontier Dance Group. Although briefly, he also
performed with two other popular Milwaukee polka bands, Spike Micale and Joey Klass.
"I respect them both, they are anchors in my career that helped open my naive eyes
and ears to other music."
One day, my Dad came home from a weekend out of town with a small black case. He didn't
say a word about it and that drove me crazy, so after he left the house I opened it. I was
thirteen and that was the first time I strapped on the button box." It was then that
Steve began another new career, this time on the button accordion. This old fashioned
European accordion won him two 1st place trophies and launched his recording career on his
Dad's recording, "Autumn Leaves".
"I always wanted my own band and the old saying, (Jack of all trades, master of
none), kept popping into my head. When I was sixteen, I decided to take piano lessons to
learn more music theory. There weren't any advanced accordion teachers left in my area and
the piano always entranced me, so the choice was simple. However, I never intended to make
the piano my main instrument, the accordion was always my preference."
The Steve Meisner Band, organized when Steve was 17, was his lifelong dream come true. The
original group consisting of cousins Carl & Rick Hartmann and Larry Sokolowski has
traveled from one end of the country to the other performing at clubs and festivals, large
and small. Steve has performed with his group for nearly 20 years and is currently
averaging 200 engagements per year. In addition to performing throughout the United
States, he has hosted seven tours around the globe.
Steve has been performing with his Dad for 30 years and continues to perform with him
whenever possible. "I still work with my Dad too, he has always been my idol. From
the time I was little, I always wanted to be part of his band. He never seems to run out
of surprises, just when I think I know it all, he'll pull something out of his
Recording music has played an important role in Steve's successful career. Through
recording he explores his ability to compose and arrange. In his earlier compositions, he
co-wrote with his brother, Daniel, who wrote the lyrics. One of their compositions,
"I Love You" originally released on the LP"Songs of Love", was
featured on a Grammy nominated recording by the Zolka Brothers. "Like my Dad and Mom,
Daniel is a natural poet and gifted artist. He can see the array of colors in black and
white and has the ability to put that into words. I admire that. When I write a song the
words and music must have a meaning for me, otherwise what's the point?"
Steve has performed with dozens of entertainers from Frankie Yankovic to Myron Floren. He
has numerous recording and production credits in audio, video, and television, and has
many awards for his work. But, what is really important to him? "To date, aside from
a few detours, my life is much like I believed it would be. I have a successful career in
music that I am very proud of, I have a wonderful wife and three great kids, and good
friends and loyal fans. I've been very fortunate and blessed to be able to do what I love
to do and make a living at the same time. I guess my goals in life have always been
simple; Be the best you can be doing what you like to do, make as many people happy as you
can, and be as happy and as satisfied as you can with the experience."
If anyone asks Steve if he has any hobbies, he would simply say "Cars". "My
uncle, Hank, sells them and my Dad buys them. It's sort of, Meisner family disease, that
we are all addicted to. I have a barn full, and would love to have a museum