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Musician Alex Meixner Connects With People Through Polka

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Bob Good
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You may not think you know musician Alex Meixner, but there’s a good chance you’ve seen him perform. If his name doesn’t sound familiar, you might know him from some Hormel Pepperoni commercials. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqhIfOp-Z2E

Meixner is the man behind the company's “One man pep band,” ads, but he’s much more than that. Meixner started his career at just 6-years-old, playing in his family’s band. He’s a Grammy nominated musician and producer, who has worked with a myriad of ensembles, and even some symphonies. He’s currently touring with his own band, which may be classified as polka-pop-jazz fusion, with a repertoire that runs the gambit from traditional German polkas to pieces written by Meixner himself.

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Credit Mikie Farias

"One guy joined our band and he's like, 'Well, you guys have a repertoire of like a thousand songs when I look at this iPad. Can you write out a set so I know what to prepare?' So I would sit there, and I would write out a set and maybe we'd play the first two songs, but then there's going to be an audible," says Meixner.

Meixner changes not only the songs, but the style of music he plays based on the mood of the room. He says music is his way of connecting with people. "I make music, but my main thing is relating to people and having people enjoy a few hours of life. With all the stuff going on in the world these days, we need a lot more positivity and we need to do more listening," says Meixner. 

The Alex Meixner Band is the featured guest at this year’s German Fest. They have performances Friday, July 29th through Sunday July 31st

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as a producer for Lake Effect. Before then, she was a director and producer for Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm Chicago Public Radio.