‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 117, No. 1January, 2017

Michael Drexler

I have been in the music industry for most of my life. I’ve worked as a singer and pianist, then as an audio engineer and producer, then did digital business development for major record labels and music publishers. About a year ago I decided to follow my passion again and started playing piano professionally in the U.S. and abroad. I would like to network with like-minded musicians, exchange ideas and ultimately start a duo or trio dedicated to ragtime, boogie and early jazz. Eventually I would like to establish myself as a full-time ragtime, boogie and jazz pianist both in solo and band settings. I recently performed as a contestant in the world championships of old-time piano playing in Oxford, Mississippi. I made it to the final five and won a medal. This success led to various engagements at ragtime festivals around the country. My favorite recent gig was a duo with my drummer in Austria where we played ragtime, boogie and jazz. The local audience loved it. I really enjoy practicing daily and getting better as a pianist as a result. My goal is to get the most out of every practicing session and to add new songs to my repertoire every day. My biggest challenge is to perform at my best in concert situations. Practicing actual performance situations is the best way to go and I want to do much more of it. Music is my “go to” place that keeps my sanity. I feel most happy and content at the piano.