Mindi Abair – America’s Sweetheart of Smooth Jazz

Mindi Abair is America’s darling with a saxophone. But she is so much more! She has just released a book titled, “How to play Madison Square Garden – A Guide to Stage Performance.” And how does she know this? While Mindi Abair is a brand unto herself, she has also toured and/or recorded with the Backstreet Boys, Duran Duran, Mandy Moore, Josh Groban, Adam Sandler, Keb’ Mo’, Lalah Hathaway, Lee Ritenour, Teena Marie, John Tesh, Bobby Lyle, Jonathan Butler, Peter White and Rick Braun.

Abair also plays the flute and keyboard and sings, and she has hosted the nationally syndicated radio program Chill with Mindi Abair since 2007, which focuses on chill out music

This first video is quintessential Mindi Abair, it’s upbeat and just makes you feel good.

Mindi has also been in demand on television. She recently made an appearance on Fran Drescher’s new hit comedy “Happily Divorced”. The show premiered on June 15th and Mindi appeared on the 4th episode. She’ll be recognizable, as she’s playing herself in the piano bar scene at the end, jamming alongside cast member Tichina Arnold and Ron Abel to close out the show. She also appeared recently on American Idol with Paul McDonald, nearly stealing the show from him. Steven Tyler remarked to Paul McDonald after her debut on the show “Forget you, who’s your sax player.”

Here is a beautiful song called “Remember.”

She is an elected governor for the Los Angeles Chapter of NARAS (The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.), and is an Artist Ambassador for Campell’s Labels for Education and The Grammy Foundation. She’s 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.

Here Mindi covers “Summertime,” which lets the audience see the musically more serious side of her.

Born into a musical family in St. Petersburg, Fla., Abair started playing piano at age 5 and picked up saxophone and songwriting three years later. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston where she earned a degree in woodwind performance and developed skills in styles spanning jazz, rock and R&B. Her debut album, 2000′s Always And Never The Same, featured nine tracks co-written by Abair and producer/musician Matthew Hager. It Just Happens That Way followed in 2003, peaking at No. 7 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart.

“Girls Night Out”

Abair’s most recent release, In Hi-Fi Stereo, was released in 2010 and climbed to No. 6 on the Jazz Albums chart. The album spawned the No. 1 Jazz Songs hit “Be Beautiful.” Abair is currently on tour throughout the United States.

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About Daniel Odescalchi

I've been a smooth jazz fan since I was first turned onto David Sanborn, Marcus Miller & Bob James in the 80's. And who could forget Dave Grusin. Unfortunately after a while too many people started doing pop covers and it polluted the smooth jazz pool. That's starting to change and this blog is dedicated to educating people on the enjoyment of smooth jazz and the artists that perform it.
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