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Meet Michael Clay

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Clay.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Michael. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My career in the music and event industry started with a simple passion or obsession with playing guitar as a child. My first performance was in a second-grade talent show in a little town in South Texas.

Fast forward many years, I began to play in bands across Texas as a “hired gun” guitar player and out of necessity, I learned to manage and take on the duties of the booking agent. As a working musician, I also began writing songs and doing studio work for movies and TV commercials as another source of income.

I moved to Dallas in the late 70’s and was hired as an Artist in Residence for the City of Dallas. I learned from this experience how arts and government worked together. I was mentored by the best, Mr. John Paul Bastiste, former Director of Texas Commission on the Arts and recent Chairman of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs. I call him a “Bureau-o-Cat”.

After getting married and having a family, I took a “Day Job” with the Freeman Companies producing national trade shows, corporate theater, special events and working with meeting planners and promoters. I continued to play music in bands but my focus shifted from clubs to corporate and special events.

The Gaylord Texan Hotel and Resort hired me as an entertainment consultant in 2006 and from that point to now, I have been fortunate to continue having amazing opportunities that bring music, technology and creativity to the event and hospitality world.

In 2016, I was hired by the City of Dallas to design, build and program a unique performance stage inside of Dallas Love Field Airport. Since that project, my company has worked on many similar venues such as The Sound at Cypress Waters and Legacy Food Hall in Legacy West.

Currently, I’m managing entertainment and production for The Statler Hotel Dallas, producing a music series for Lakeside DFW in Flower Mound and booking venues in DFW and around the country.

In 2003, I co-founded the Texas Music Project ( texasmusicproject.org ) to support music education in Texas schools. Willie Nelson, George Strait, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Maren Morris and hundreds of other great musicians and producers have all supported the project. The organization is still active today and we are focusing on music therapy programs at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

I’m looking forward to continuing to promote the arts and community actives that bring people together for a good time and good cause.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Doing anything new or creative is always a challenge. You have to look at things differently and convince others to do the same. It a process that seems to always come back to timing, people and finding a means to the end.

I love the old adage ” keep your eye on the donut, not the hole”.

Please tell us more about your business.
My company was started in 2003 and is a combination of everything I’ve learned in the music and event business for the past 30 years. I’m proud of the friends and relationships I’ve made and continue to stay in touch with them.

My company offers a vast network of resources and creative solutions for your next special event, convention or exhibit.

Creative Services – Concept theme development, branding, custom music, and video production.

Event Management and Production –Coordinate and manage all logistics, labor, budgets and audiovisual equipment.

Entertainment Consulting – Customized Entertainment Packages for private and public concert events – this includes musicians, speakers, artists and various other performing talent.

After 30 plus years in the industry, there are only a few things that separate you from your competitors…do what you say you’ll do and be fair and honest.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My Father managed a 32,000-acre cattle ranch in South Texas. I could walk, ride horseback or drive every inch of the ranch and still know it like the back of the hand.

It was an amazing place to explore and grow up. My favorite memory was learning to play guitar from one of the Black cowboys that worked on the ranch. He would invite me to sit in with his band – “Peter Gunn and Floor Rockers”. It all started there!

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