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Michael Robert Winkle Michael Robert Winkle

“Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, I was surrounded by an incredible music scene that offered such a diversity of musical genres that on any given night, you could see artists such as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Tower Of Power, Cal Tjader and Miles Davis, to name a few. The Fillmore and Winterland were in their full glory, and I was fortunate to see some of the top bands of the day there. We used to go to high school dances in Oakland to see Santana, Tower Of Power, and Creedence Clearwater Revival before they hit it big. Just an amazing era!

“Early on, I was absolutely knocked out by many of the British bands, particularly Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Animals, The Zombies, The Hollies, and of course, the Beatles. Gerry Marsden of Gerry & The Pacemakers was actually the first singer whom I tried to emulate. Around 1968, an older friend turned me on to a radio station broadcasting from Oakland. I think the station was KSOL or something like that. It was all soul all the time and it really caught my ear! I couldn’t hear enough Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler, the Impressions, the Drifters, Aretha Franklin, and so many others.” “Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Kenny Rankin, Bobby Caldwell and Donnie Hathaway were kinda my guys in the 70's and I stole as much from them as I was able to.”

“My voice has been compared to a host of artists including, Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Bobby Caldwell, Sam Cooke and others. I think folks hear what they want to hear. My original tunes are Jazz(ish) with nods to my influences. You can’t help that! I have recorded songs from artists as varied as Sinatra, The Animals, Coltrane, Bill Henderson, Van Morrison, Beatles to Bill Evans. If it has a great melody and lyric, I'm in!”

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The highly accomplished vocalist, Mike Winkle, did Jimmy Mak a nice favor last night: Winkle opened the set of his CD Release performance, beautifully augmented by a superb band, and immediately the temperature in the room soared. No heating bill for Jimmy this cold winter night! Winkle started off on an eighteen tune, almost non-stop musical marathon with an up tempo “Nature Boy” and there was no turning back. Already in this first tune, Mike established himself solidly as a wonderfully controlled singer, able when necessary to display a lovely vibrato one moment, and an almost Torme-like softness the next, yet also to demonstrate an impressive set of strong pipes able to take a melody flawlessly to a rousing crescendo

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