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Free workshop and jazz performance at Stonewall

March 30, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

When a musician forms a band and begins to perform professionally, that musician is also forming a small business. If that band is successful, the musician is therefore also a successful business person, and one who may have something of value to offer other small business people.

That's the concept behind the free small business development workshop being offered to the public at Stonewall Resort on April 9 when Michael Thomas, jazz musician and entrepreneur, will present "The Art Of Developing A Band As A Small Business."

Thomas formed The Michael Thomas Quintet 13 years ago and has retained the same personnel as the band developed a following in the Washington, D.C. area, then nationally.

Two years ago, the band was nominated for a Grammy for their recording of a live performance, Live At Twins.

Using an effective Internet presence, Thomas sells his five CDs and books his band in an ever expanding number of venues in new markets. He also self-promotes and self-produces his various musical projects.

"What we've learned developing the Quintet is of value to other small businesses," said Thomas in an interview from his suburban Maryland office. "Retaining personnel, promotion and market development are all essential elements of any business. We look forward to meeting area business people, retailers, manufactures or even other musical groups."

The Performance Workshop is sponsored by the West Virginia Jazz Society as part of their educational initiatives which include a jazz academy for students, public performances and business development workshops. Thomas appears courtesy of Jazhead Entertainment Inc.

The event begins with a brief performance by The Bobcats, a trio of young professional musicians who recently formed, after meeting during study with James Moore at West Virginia Wesleyan College's heralded jazz program.

Thomas will hear the band perform and then offer advice and answer questions from both the band and from interested members of the audience.

"Thomas will be present his business development program as he provides a master class to the young musicians," explained Eric Spelsberg, WVJS president. "It promises to be both an informative and entertaining session with benefit to the community on multiple levels."

The workshop begins at 2 p.m. in Stonewall Lodge at the Resort, at the Roanoke Exit 91 of I-79. Dining is available before and after the workshop in the resort's restaurants.

On the evening of April 9, the Michael Thomas Quintet will appear in Lightburn's Restaurant, the Resort's distinctive hilltop clubhouse. Individual dinner and show tickets are sold out, but lodging packages remain available.

For more information on the workshop, call WVJS at 304-269-3683 or email to For more information on the evening dinner and show, call Stonewall Resort at 304-269-7400 or visit



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