Mindi Abair Biography

31 May 1969, USA. Abair’s family was musical and she was born while they were on tour, staying on the road until she was five. Raised in Florida, she studied piano and began playing alto saxophone at the age of eight. While attending St. Petersburg’s Northside Christian School, she played in the school’s band at Clearwater’s Coachman Park. She attended the Berklee College Of Music, where she studied with Joe Viola, then settled in Los Angeles. From this California base, she led her own band and also toured extensively including playing in bands backing artists such as the Backstreet Boys, Jonathan Butler, the Gap Band, Bobby Lyle, Mandy Moore, Adam Sandler and John Tesh. Eventually deciding to embark on a solo career, Abair entered the smooth jazz scene. Her schedule has included regular visits to Florida and among engagements in the early 00s, she played often at Coachman Park, including the WSJT Smooth Jazz Festival, at Clearwater Celebrates America, and at Clearwater Jazz Holiday. She has also appeared at the Smooth Jazz at Sunset Jazz Festival in St. Joseph, Michigan, and toured with singer Josh Groban. By the time of her 2006 album, her reputation was such that she attracted guest artists Lalah Hathaway and Keb’ Mo’, and she has worked with guitarist Peter White, touring with him extensively throughout the USA.

On her albums, Abair has been joined by pianist Russell Ferrante, organist Ricky Petersen, writing partner Matthew Hager, and her father, tenor saxophonist Lance Abair. Among her hit singles are ‘Flirt’, ‘Lucy’s’ and ‘Save The Last Dance’. In addition to playing alto saxophone, Adair also plays soprano saxophone, flute and keyboards, and sometimes sings in a pleasingly unpretentious manner. Her regular bands in the early and mid-00s have included keyboard players Gregory Manning and Rodney Lee, guitarist Tariqh Akoni, and drummer Stevo Theard.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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