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About Mindi Abair

Mindi Abair is an American, Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz, R&B, and blues saxophonist and vocalist. She is also an author of the instructional book How to Play Madison Square Garden, and a National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Abair's gritty, dynamic, soulful, and funky sound has resulted in ten number one radio singles, and four albums that have landed inside the Top Five on the Contemporary Jazz chart. She hosted the SiriusXM radio program "Chill with Mindi Abair" between 2007 and 2015. As a studio musician, among her dozens of credits are recordings with artists ranging from Bobby Lyle and Michael Feinstein to Mocean Worker, Keb Mo', and Bobby Rush.

Born on tour into a musical family, Mindi Abair was playing piano by the age of five. Within three years, she was playing saxophone and writing songs. She made her way through Berklee performing all kinds of music, from jazz to rock to R&B. Upon moving back to Los Angeles, Abair started her own band. She also took on session work with artists as diverse as the Gap Band, Adam Sandler, Mandy Moore, John Tesh, Teena Marie, and the Backstreet Boys. During this time, she worked on creating her own sound and released her debut disc in 1999. The Backstreet Boys connection really paid off for her, and her website and CD (entitled Love) took off. The year 2000 saw the release of the follow-up, Always and Never the Same, and shortly thereafter, Abair signed with GRP Records. A sophomore effort, It Just Happens That Way, was issued in 2003. "Lucy's," "Save the Last Dance," and the album's title track went on to impact Top Ten radio. A year later, Abair returned with Come as You Are, her second set produced with her writing partner Matthew Hager. In 2006, Abair released Life Less Ordinary, which featured guest vocals from Lalah Hathaway and Keb' Mo', and also performed at the Governor's Ball, the official Oscars afterparty. The following year, she appeared on guitarist Peter White's (with whom she had performed frequently) Christmas album, but 2008 saw a return to her solo material (and an introduction to Abair as a singer) with Stars. In 2010, Abair delivered the soul-jazz-inspired In Hi-Fi Stereo, which once again featured a mix of instrumental jazz with a few Abair vocal numbers. Abair returned in 2014 with her seventh studio album, Wild Heart, which featured guest spots from Keb' Mo', Joe Perry, Booker T. Jones, and Gregg Allman. It debuted at number one on the jazz album chart, and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.

In March of 2015, she recorded a live album, Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers: Live in Seattle. Her backing band is actually an all-star, standalone touring and recording unit that includes former Was (Not Was) members Randy Jacobs on guitar and vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson. The album was released the following September by her own Pretty Good for a Girl Records label, distributed by Concord. It debuted at number three on the Blues Album Chart and hit the top spot on the RMR Blues Rock Album chart in January of the following year. The single "Pretty Good for a Girl," featuring Joe Bonamassa, won the 2018 Independent Music Award for Best Blues Song Fan Award. The band also won eight Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year, Best Contemporary Blues Band, and Best Female Artist. In October, Abair and the band issued their first holiday collection, All I Got for Christmas Is the Blues. In 2019, Abair was back with the Boneshakers for No Good Deed. ~ Gary Hill

HOMETOWN
St. Petersburg, FL
GENRE
Jazz
BORN
May 23, 1969

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