1.Name: Mike Winfield
2. AKA - Nickname(s):
Winthorpe: Doesn’t really have anything to do with anything, but it was picked in a
hurry. Have also been known as “The Madison Horn” during my years with
3. Band member since:
I’m the newbie, only being in the band since July of 2008. I’ve known several of the
other members for a number of years and sat in with the gang on a gig in the
islands some years ago.
4. The primary function I serve in the band is as:
The sax player. I also spend some of my time paying tribute to the Beatles singing
several of their well known hits as well as answering the call for “More cowbell” as
5. I can also fumble my way through playing:
My Old School by Steely Dan. I love the song, but haven’t quite gotten the part
under my fingers yet.
6. I started playing music when I was:
In the 5th grade which was about 1975 or 1976 as I figure it. I considered
switching to guitar during a weak moment, but decided to continue with the
saxophone and am glad that I made that decision.
7. I started playing music because:
Thought it would be fun to do. We had a trumpet in the house, but due to some
technical difficulties the decision was made that I should take up the sax instead.
8. Besides Pieces of Eight, I currently perform and/or have performed in these
My first band out of high school was a band called Those Guys. Several area
musicians recruited me to be in their band. The band lasted for about four years or
so at which time two of the members changed jobs and moved out of the area
forcing the band to break up. For the last year or so of the band I was lucky enough
to play with my brother Eric who is a drummer and is currently playing with a local
band The Girls.
After a short time off I started playing with Special Request an all occasion band
that is part of the Special Productions organization. I spent almost 10 years with
the group playing gigs in places like Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, West Virginia,
and the Cleveland area. During that time places like the Rock Hall, Jacobs Field, and
the Science Center opened and the band played for corporate and other private
events held in the new facilities.
During the last year or so of my time with Special Request I began playing with the
band Stagepass. The band was a Michael Stanley tribute band for the most part,
but also played some Southside Johnny and Bruce Springsteen tunes as well as
other miscellaneous oldies, but goodies. I was fortunate to get into Stagepass
during its most popular time. We had a great fan base and played to standing room
only crowds at some of the east side’s best venues some of which unfortunately
are no longer around. Times changed for the band and eventually it was time to
The Cleveland Vibe was the next stop on my musical journey. The Vibe was formed
by several members of a group that had been backing a local country singer and
originally performed a number of country songs as well as a variety of Motown,
disco and other misc. styles of music. After a couple of personnel changes the band
settled in and some of the country music went away music from the 80’s and 90’s
music took its place. After a number of years with the Vibe I made to decision to
take some time off from full time music and spend more time with my family. I
occasionally subbed with the Vibe for the next year or so, but was basically on a
The start of my time with Pieces of Eight started with an email from “Mr. Fabulous”
Al Widmer. I knew Al from the Stone Pony Band and when the sax player with POE
decided to move out of the area Al emailed me and the rest is history.
Other bands that I have played with over the years include: Abby Normal, Stone
Pony, Sister Kate, Special Blend, Madison Jazz Project, Lakeland Civic Jazz Band,
Youngstown State Jazz ensemble, No More 925.
9. Music is a fun hobby. But in real life in my day job, I am:
A painting contractor.
10. Outside of performing with the band, I have a life. In my personal life:
I’m married with two daughters and living in Chardon..
11. When not performing in a band I like to:
I enjoy woodworking when I get the chance and spending time with my wife and
girls. I also like to spend the occasional afternoon fishing.
12. My thoughts on Pieces of Eight are…
It’s amazing that a group of musicians has been together as long as they have.
Most groups go through personnel changes as POE has, but most end up running
into personal conflicts within the group that somehow become so hard to overcome
that the group cannot continue. It’s great to see this group get along so well after
all of these years.
13. My favorite band related saying is…
I’ll have to reserve my comments on this item until I’ve spent more time with the
14. My favorite memory of being in the band over the years is probably…
Watching the other guys enjoy playing music.
15. Oh, I almost forgot, I wanted to add…
Times change and bands and people come and go. Enjoy where you are, but never
stop striving to be better.