Saxophonist/Singer/Songwriter Mindi Abair has not only set sonic trends, but has broken all the boundaries as she continues to define the less traditional future of jazz. Her own brand of pop and soul meets jazz adds a refreshingly unique voice to an exciting new generation of crossover artists. Raised on the road with her father’s band, she graduated from Berklee College of Music and headed to Los Angeles where she became a sought after sideman. She began booking her band into clubs, coffee shops and hotels. She played solo on the street at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and garnered the attention of jazz keyboardist Bobby Lyle, who hired her to record on his “Power of Touch” CD and tour with him. The list of artists she has toured or recorded with are a testament to her talent. They include Adam Sandler, John Tesh, Jonathan Butler, Teena Marie, Rick Braun, Keb’ Mo’, Lalah Hathaway, Duran Duran, Lee Ritenour, Mandy Moore, Max Weinberg, Mocean Worker, Bill Champlin, Sheila E, Jonathan Butler and Peter White to name a few. She was featured on saxophone in the Go West video “Tell Me”. And in 1996, on Adam Sandler’s HBO Special, and recorded on his platinum CD “What’s Your Name?” playing the saxophone solo on “The Lonesome Kicker” and singing on various tracks. In 1999, Mindi joined the Backstreet Boys for their Millennium World Tour, and spent the next year and a half as their saxophonist, keyboardist and percussionist. She put together Mandy Moore’s first band, and acted as musical director, keyboardist, background singer and percussionist for many of her first television appearances and shows. On her off time from touring, Mindi released her first complete solo record “Always and Never the Same” independently.
She signed to Verve Records in 2002 and never looked back. Her solo career has produced 10 #1 radio singles, and her records have consistently topped the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts. She has hosted the internationally syndicated radio show “Chill With Mindi Abair” for 5 years, and has successful 5 major label solo releases to her credit “It Just Happens That Way” (2003), “Come As You Are” (2004), “Life Less Ordinary” (2006), “Stars” (2008), and “In Hi Fi Stereo” (2010). She is an elected governor for the Los Angeles Chapter of NARAS, and is an Artist Ambassador for Campell’s Labels for Education and The Grammy Foundation. She's been featured on this season of "American Idol" as a featured soloist with Paul McDonald and Casey Abrams, won Best International Instrumentalist at the 2011 Wave Awards in Toronto, and Best Female Artist of the Year at the 2011 Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards. She is a regular columnist for Wine and Jazz Magazine and author of the book "How To Play Madison Square Garden - A Guide To Stage Performance." She is currently touring the US and abroad with her band.