Michael Thompson & FarmJazz
Gig Seeker Pro

Michael Thompson & FarmJazz


Band Jazz Classical


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




On June 15th, the Thompson/Williamson Duo will perform for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the Caswell Co, Arts Council. These two tarheel born and bred musicians have been pickin’ together at every opportunity over the past 10 yrs; since Thompson returned to NC following a 3yr. stint as an entertainer aboard the Mississippi Queen Riverboat.
Michael Thompson’s and Tony Williamson’s musical careers have paralleled each others in amazingly subtle ways’ considering they only met some 10 odd years ago. They both began playing around age 5. Tony grew up in a musical family, playing at home and in church yet heavily influenced by music he heard attending fiddlers’ conventions. One of his most notable influences was the late-great Bill Monroe, who, sort of “took me under his wing” according to Tony, then about age 11. Michael’s family was not musical, but he grew up listening to Elvis, Chuck Berry, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan.; and religiously watching The Flatt & Scruggs Martha White Show, The Wilburn Bros. and the Porter Wagoner Shows every Saturday on T.V. Both Mike and Tony began playing professionally around age 14. Both graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill; Tony with a degree in English Literature; and Michael with the first performance degree in guitar ever to be awarded from the UNC music department. In 1974, Thompson took 1st place in Guitar at the 50th Anniversary of the World Championship Old-Time Fiddlers
Convention at Union Grove, NC. Tony also took a 1st Place prize in Mandolin at the Union Grove festival.
Over the next 15yrs, Tony continued to explore his bluegrass roots; touring and striking up lifetime friendships with some of todays’ most popular bluegrass, old-time, country,and(yes)rock musicians. He resides in Chatham Co.; on land that has been in his family for more than 3 centuries, with his wife, son, and daughter. Tony has been nominated for 5 Grammys and received numerous IBMA awards for his many recording ventures; including several CD’s of his own and the Doobie Shea Christmas album featuring Michael on guitar and friend Robbie Link on bass. His latest release, “Still Light of the Morning”, features the Williamson Brothers Band – a group formed with his brother Gary, with whom he tours regularly. “Mandolin Central”, a full service music shop, is his base of operations, which he runs from the “old-home-place”.
In 1977, Michael received a Master’s Degree in Music Education w/ a concentration in Music Therapy from East Carolina University. He then served 12 years with the NC Arts Council and NC Department of Community Colleges as a Visiting Artist, taking a year off now and then to work a season in Palm Beach as a “strolling” musician; as well as his sojourn with the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. in New Orleans. He continues his partnership with the NC Arts Council, and is listed in the NC Touring Artist Directory. Michael currently resides in Caswell Co. with his wife, dogs and birds; teaching Compensatory Education with Piedmont Community College in Yanceyville, and private lessons in guitar and banjo at Long Memorial Music Academy in Roxboro, NC.
While these two multi-instrumentalists claim guitar (Michael) and mandolin (Tony) as their primary “axes”; Michael also plays banjo and dobro; while Tony is adept at fiddle, banjo, and guitar as well. In addition, they each have nurtured a love and appreciation of antique instruments and own as well as perform on some very rare and beautiful collectors items.
These two “Southern-Gentlemen” have aged on common ground musically outside of their expected norms’ and when they get together you’re as likely to hear a New Orleans jazz tune as a fiddle tune. They flow easily from ragtime and blues, to Italian, Latin, swing-tunes, and jazz standards. The versatility, sensitivity, and imagination of these modern “musical- renaissance- men” renders a timeless and energetic performance which transcends “new-age” and is sure to delight and inspire audiences of all ages.

- ] THE CASWELL MESSENGER (Weekly Newspaper)


New CD Just Released: "The Sleepy Gypsy" Michael's musical sojourn..."Acoustic-Guitar tapestry of dreamy melodies, woven with exotic rhythms, echoes the Gypsy’s footsteps …." Other CDs: "Winter Wonderland" an Acoustic Christmas w/ refreshing new arrangements by Michael w/ mandolin-expert Tony Williamson; "Nickels to Diamonds" a Live Performance CD w/ Tony, Mike Willis, and bassist Robbie Link; "Up A Lazy River" "smokin'-guitar-duets" w/electric-blues guitarist Paul Roberts featuring 5 new solos by Michael. Listen to Tracks at FarmJazz.com; also cdbaby.com and earbuzz.com.



MICHAEL THOMPSON Guitarist, Entertainer, Recording Artist

The first individual to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar Performance from UNC at Chapel Hill; acquiring a M.M. in Music Ed./Therapy at ECU; and Visiting Artist with the NC Arts Council for over a decade; this modern musical Renaissance man draws from a wealth of professional and community performing experience. After touring for several years aboard the Mississippi Queen Riverboat, Michael returned to NC to pursue his interests in teaching, performing and recording. In addition to teaching private lessons at Chatham Hall in Chatham, VA, and at the Kirby Gallery in Roxboro; this multi-instrumentalist coordinates the “Farm-Jazz Musicians Co-Op Project”; in which he books engagements, performs, and records with the many accomplished musicians he has befriended over the years. With jazz, swing, ragtime, “roots”--from Irish to blues--and classical music experiencing a “coming of age” among diverse audiences in the South; Michael’s “Musicians Co-Op Project” brings over three decades of virtuoso musicianship, versatility, sensitivity, and imagination to all these musical genres. Specializing in unique tonal blends, performance offerings can be customized and arranged to include: solo, duos, trios, & more.; with instrument combinations of guitars, flute, banjo, violin, harp, keyboard, mandolin, dobro, bass, vibraphone, etc. With a genuine love of music and styles ranging from the 16th century to the present, Michael and “friends” bring together rarely heard combinations to create exciting new textures and energetic performances sure to inspire and delight audiences of all ages with their refreshing approach to 20th century performance practice. FARMJAZZ.COM