From The Beginning
Meyer, a former key band member of Portland’s Pink Martini, wrote and played the violin parts for the successful album, Sympantique (selling over 700,000 copies) and has since carved-out his own musical niche after leaving Pink Martini to start his own band in 2000. Meyer, who is classically trained, combines world music and contemporary progressive rock with his original compositions and arrangements. He gives an energetic performance on acoustic and electric violin while accompanied by guitars, percussion and other traditionally rock instruments.
Classical Music was critical to Aaron’s music development as a young musician beginning at age 5, when his father Julian Meyer began teaching him to play the violin. All of the pieces on this c.d. were played and performed by Aaron at various points in his career including track #2 which he performed at age 11 in his solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The last two tracks (#9 and #10) are recently composed original songs that Aaron wrote himself as a contemporary composer and recording artist.
Concert Rock Violinist Aaron Meyer performs cutting edge original music and arrangements with virtuosity and passion. Aaron brings his fresh and invigorating instrumental style to the stage and genuinely connects with audiences of all ages. Meyer’s unique brand of music bridges world, contemporary progressive rock and classical genres. A classically trained violinist since age 5, Meyer debuted with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age 11, and has soloed with major international symphony orchestras and ballet companies, in addition to performing for many world leaders and Dignitaries. Meyer has worked with vastly contrasting artists such as Pink Martini, Smokey Robinson, Aaron Neville, The Temptations, Leftover Salmon, 2002 Miss America – Katie Harman, and the platinum record selling band, Everclear.
Meyer has recorded eight albums thus far, including his latest and most exciting CD of original music entitled “The Journey… not the Destination” which features Aaron’s latest compositions and dynamic arrangements inspired by his passion for world travel and culture. Aaron will release his third holiday CD in November 2008. Each December, Aaron brings superior talent and variety to the stage with his annual holiday concert series throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Aaron presents his annual holiday concert in Portland each year with the support of major sponsors (Zupan’s Markets, Moonstruck Chocolates, The Portland Hilton, The Portland Tribune). Continuing with his theme of “Holiday Music from Around the World”, Aaron brings international talent and guest artists to the stage such as famous Fijian guitarist/songwriter Jale Mareau as well as The Gothard Sisters who are current world champion Irish dancers and fiddlers.
Aaron began studying the violin when he was five years old with his father, Julian Meyer. Studies continued with Luis Biava - associate conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and also at Indiana University with Yuval Yaron - a student of Jascha Heifetz. It may be surprising to learn that Aaron shut his violin case when he was 19 years old and began down a new path by pursuing an undergraduate degree in Natural Science from Lewis & Clark College (1995). Following graduation, Aaron embarked on an 11-month journey into some of the most remote regions of Southeast Asia and the South Pacific which ultimately inspired him to create a unique style of original music combining world, contemporary progressive rock and classical influences. The flavors in Aaron’s variety of music depict a piece of each cultural experience from every village, every Island, every colorful place he has encountered and he continues to redefine his sound.
Upon returning from his life changing adventure in Southeast Asia, Aaron completed his Masters Degree from Portland State University. Aaron then joined the band Pink Martini and recorded on their debut CD, Sympathique (which has sold over 700,000 copies world wide). He performed with Pink Martini for almost 2 years, shortly thereafter he began composing his own original music and released his first solo CD “Near The Edge”. Aaron began his journey of combining classical and rock music on this CD, which was commissioned for the Oregon Ballet Theatres production of “Dance Near The Edge”.
Other opportunities followed including a request from Everclear to compose and arrange string parts for their album “Slowmotion Daydream”. Television was next with more opportunities to compose music for PBS specials as well as Microsoft commercials. His music then took him to the Hague, in Holland where he performed songs for the World Peace Conference. Playing his own unique version of the National Anthem at the NBA Western Conference Finals was a great highlight for Aaron who is an avid basketball fan.
On May 15, 2001 at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland Oregon 10,000 people watched as Aaron played on stage with the Dalai Lama. He performed for the Dalai Lama an original piece of music written for his visit to Portland along with another well known Portland Musician, Pianist Michael Allen Harrison.
Other CDs followed Near the Edge: \"A Winter\'s Dance\" and “The Forth Season” both collections of uniquely beautiful arrangements of traditional holiday favorites. “Iniziare” high energy classical crossover and world music followed by “Unfinished journey: The Lewis and Clark Expedition”, which was a 13 part public radio series played nationwide on NPR radio. In 2007 Aaron released “From the Beginning” a sentimental journey of the sounds from Aarons early career as a young performer of classical music. His music from these CDs were performed by Aaron and his band at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on November 18, 2004 along with the entire Oregon Symphony. This was Aarons second time soloing with a major symphony, later he soloed with the Bangkok Symphony after they learned of his Tsunami benefit concert in Phuket, Thailand that raised over 10,000.00USD to rebuild a local school damaged by this catastrophic event.
Aaron generously donates to causes he believes in and is very active in his own local community as well as worldwide organizations. He plays regularly at auctions and charity events including International Medical Teams, American Lung Cancer Association, Salud Pinot Noir Charity auction, Doernbecher hospital, and much more. One very special and memorable highlight was when Aaron played at an orphanage in Cambodia in association with Holt International, an adoption agency based in Oregon.
Aaron’s love for young people and education inspired him to create his unique educational programs, which continually inspire students worldwide. Each year, Aaron visits dozens of schools all over the Pacific Northwest, presenting assembly style educational music programs, workshops and assisting in creating CDs of student-written songs. He also works with youth orchestras and conducts his own annual, music education summer camp. Aaron produced an educational CD entitled \"Practice Classical Violin and Play Like A Rock Star\". This innovative tool works in conjunction with Suzuki Books 1 & 2 for Violin, and inspires young students to have some fun when they practice.
Aaron resides in Portland, Oregon with his wife Renee, son Parker and their 2 dogs Bootsie and Paki. Aaron stays busy teaching private lessons, composing new music and visiting schools to perform and implement his educational program. Aaron is an omnivorous Deadhead and has attended over 40 Grateful Dead concerts, including the last Jerry Garcia Band shows ever at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. His other love is travel and he once spent 60 days hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal and then in Northern Burma. Since then he has explored many new destinations such as Fiji, Cambodia & Thailand. He returns to his favorite places as well as new ones on an annual basis with his wife Renee who owns a travel agency Unforgettable Honeymoons. In his free time he enjoys cooking, fine wine, hiking, biking, scuba diving & camping. It wouldn’t be unusual to find him donating his time on a day off to play at a charity auction or for a local school function.