Aaron Meyer ##Photo provided

Q&A: Aaron Meyer

Rock violinist answers OWP

Concert rock violinist Aaron Meyer performs a broad range of music, from a dynamic rendition of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” to an exquisite version of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” Meyer has released nine albums, including his latest, “Hang On to Your Pants,” which showcases his nine-piece band performing instrumental versions of classic rock songs. His love for young people and education inspired him to create his own educational program, Aaron Meyer Music in the Schools, which he has brought to schools around the world. He lives in Portland with his wife, Renee, and their three dogs, Bootsie, Bernice and Tierney. For more about Meyer — and details about his 2019 holiday concerts — visit

Q: How has performing in wine country shaped your opinion of the Oregon wine industry?

AM: The best part about performing in Oregon wine country is getting to know the people who make it all happen and all the wonderful relationships I have made and to be made through the love of wine and music.

Wine and music meld nicely together along with food, travel, art and fun! My very first gig playing in wine country, was performing at Ken Wright’s Walk in The Park. I had a great time performing at the festival; all the people were so nice, and when Ken led the band to the performers’ backstage area and had several bottles of wine open for us to try, I said, “WOW, this juice is pretty darn good!” Since then, I have made meaningful friendships with winemakers and key wine industry players, such as Dick Shea, Ron and Lynn Penner-Ash, James Frey, the entire Stoller Family Estate team who greatly support my music education work and hotelier Pierre Zreik (The Allison Inn) to name a few — and there are more! I think we are blessed to have such a world-class wine scene in our backyard!

Q: Who do you consider your greatest musical influences?

AM: No.1: My father and first violin teacher, Julian Meyer. No. 2: Jascha Heifetz the great violinist. No. 3: Jerry Garcia. No. 4: Tim Ellis, my other favorite guitarist, band leader and music producer.And No. 5: Dean Baskerville, the world’s best studio engineer and my current music producer.

Q: You just returned from Europe. Visit any wineries? How does it compare to Oregon wine country?

AM: We visited Cortona in the Tuscany region, so we were 45 minutes from Montalcino, the birthplace of Brunello. We visited one winery in that region, drank many different Brunellos and learned so much about the farming and very strict standard of winemaking in the very small Montalcino region — recognized by UNESCO for its uniqueness.  I found there to be some similarities to our Willamette Valley in the sense that I noticed that many of the farmers and winemakers worked collaboratively for the greater good of the region.  I like that. Visiting other wine regions always helps remind me how special Oregon wine country really is.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite holiday song? Favorite holiday song to perform?

AM: My favorite holiday song is “Do You Hear What I Hear,” which I have renamed “Don’t You Hear What I Hear?” At first, I did not really love this song, but when I was working on my second holiday record with guitarist/producer Tim Ellis, he started the song in a traditional format. Then, the tempo speeds up; the guitar and horns kick into a wild Indian raga groove with Middle Eastern musical influences; we speed up more and then when we are almost out of control, and we launch into the classic rock anthem “Baba O’Riley” by The Who.  It’s so much fun to play!

Q: Any upcoming shows or projects you want to share with our readers?

AM: My 19th annual Holiday Concert Series happens Dec. 19–21, in downtown Portland.  We have four concerts over three days, and it features my 14-musician rock orchestra, complete with horns, the Brown Sisters — who are fabulous gospel singers — and some of my up-and-coming violinist students. 

We also have a first annual Aaron Meyer Holiday Concert in Oregon Wine Country at The Allison Inn & Spa on Dec. 1, but we sold it out already! And July 26 will be our fourth annual Harmony in the Vineyard at Stoller Family Estate, a benefit for my music education program, Aaron Meyer Music in the Schools.


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