CWU News

Grammy Winner TeeWanz Returns to CWU, May 1

Michael 'TeeWanz' Wansley

Grammy award-winning musician Michael Wansley, aka TeeWanz, will return to Central Washington University to speak on Monday, May 1, at 2 p.m. in McIntyre Recital Hall.

TeeWanz, a former CWU music student is best known as the featured artist on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Grammy hit “The Thrift Shop.” The single has sold more than 5 million copies.

TeeWanz will join CWU assistant professor Mark Samples, to discuss the music industry, entrepreneurship, and the tools for success in a competitive world. They aspire to provide insight into the ever-evolving music industry.

“The traditional paths of musicians are being disrupted, these days, so you have to be creative…you have to be entrepreneurial in order to have a successful career,” Samples said.

Samples, who teaches in the music department is a musicologist—or music historian. He researches how musicians have marketed and branded themselves—not only now, but throughout history.

Last quarter, Samples taught a new course related to his research in music and entrepreneurship. One of his students—Peregrine Spane, a piano performance major—reached out to TeeWanz, as part of an assignment.

The assignment evolved into TeeWanz agreeing to come speak at CWU.

Spane has since been integral in the planning and publicizing of TeeWanz’s upcoming visit.

The public is encouraged to attend this free event. The conversation is relevant beyond music performers, and could be insightful to vast audiences.

“I hope they (the audience) will get…a clear picture of what the music industry is like today, from someone who has had ups and downs. And someone who has carved a unique and special place for himself,” Samples said.

To learn more about the CWU music program or the arts and entrepreneurship class contact Sara Carroll at 509-963-1265 or

Media contact: Dawn Alford, public affairs coordinator, 509-963-1484,