The music world is mourning the loss of a true legend. Multi-award-winning musician Steve Meisner passed away June 1st, 2023, at Meriter Hospital in Madison Wisconsin due to cancer complications. His musical talent and expertise was renowned worldwide, with numerous accolades and honors awarded throughout his illustrious career. His captivating melodies and warm personality endeared him to his fans and colleagues alike.
A longtime resident of Whitewater, Wisconson, Meisner began playing the accordion at age five and never looked back. Inspired by his father Verne and other local polka musicians, he decided early on that this was the path for him. He never strayed from his chosen profession, working countless hours to play gigs around the country and abroad. Meisner was a master of the Cleveland style polka, which features an accordion and saxophone. But he also played Slovenian-style polka, German beer hall music, big band and even rock. He recorded dozens of albums and was inducted into five polka halls of fame.
Meisner’s dedication to his craft spanned more than half a century and touched tens of thousands of people. His fans would often travel with him to city after city, lining up to dance the night away. He played in local taverns, Wisconsin state fairs and European cities, at weddings and on cruise ships. He was especially fond of performing for children. His passion for his art was contagious, inspiring many aspiring musicians to pursue their own dreams.
While the world mourns the passing of a legendary musician, Meisner’s family asks for privacy while they deal with this sudden loss. However, they remain confident that he would want the show to go on. A memorial service is planned for later this summer, and the Meisner Band will continue to perform as scheduled through February of 2024.
In addition to the ongoing work with his family, Meisner was the founder of the American Polka Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting polka music and culture in America. The APA’s mission is to preserve and promote the heritage of polka while also encouraging new generations to join in the fun and celebrate the joyous sound of acoustic instruments, vocals, and dancing.