It’s the end of the most unusual year of all of our lives, which makes many of us more reflective and emotional as we look towards the start of the new year. I personally definitely have gotten darker on life and humanity a few times more than I ever thought I could this year, but I’ve also had some pretty special moments before and during this Covid pandemic crisis that has gripped the world.
I had gigs in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas in the first 9 weeks of the year that were really exciting me. From Alex Meixner Band gigs at some new venues (Wellington, FL, San Antonio Rodeo, Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg, TX) and some new sidemen in the fold (Little Skippy Alex Vinecki and Steven Gross) to some really inspiring performances with Paddy King at the Accordion Kings concerts we did in Louisiana directed by Steve Riley (and featuring an amazing conglomeration of Accordion stars: Josh Baca, Glenn Hartman, Geno Delafose, Yves Lambert.) The year was off to an amazing start. Then Covid arrived…
At first, most of us thought this was a short, temporary hiccup. When I got the call for the first gig cancellations of our annual performance at the Tomball German Festival, I was a bit surprised but figured, we’d be back on the road in the spring, then it was the summer and then the fall gigs started canceling and well… here we are.
In this time, I’ve gotten a lot more home and family time than I’ve ever had and that is a good thing. My wife, Paula has been amazing through this for me as she has encouraged the re-pivoting that has happened and has been hearing a lot more home practicing, recording, and teaching. The introduction of my Patreon page has been the most important professional development, the monthly zoomer happy hour performances/ discussions have opened my eyes and ears to new repertoire and interaction with my fans (open to the patrons at the $25/ month level and higher) and starting to regularly teach via online lessons has brought me back to the formal teaching arena for the first time in quite a few years. My students are inspiring me in so many different ways. Some are beginning new instruments as adults, some that are young virtuosos in the making, some that are just pursuing new avenues of learning and challenging me to check out different ways of teaching and learning for myself.
As this new year starts, none of us really know what is in store in regards to “returning to the way it was” or if some of the “new normals” are here to stay. Regardless, we all have to choose happiness in our own ways. I’m doing this by continuing to study and learn, as well as perform music in every way I can. I’m here to teach any music students that I can help achieve new understandings of this form of expression and communication that has defined so much of my life. I’m also excited about the prospect of recording and finishing a ton of projects that are ongoing in the studio. Some performances are on the schedule and I’m hoping that more will resume whether that is in solo or smaller configurations or with the full band or even with new collaborators, I’m doing my best to make the most of everything.
Please consider joining me on Patreon to get first access to the new recordings and if you’re interested in connecting with the community that we’re developing of music enthusiasts. We’ll be scheduling our next Zoomer soon in January and there will be a lot of new content to keep everyone interested and entertained.
All the best in this new year!