Mindi Abair

Mindi Abair's Biography

One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists/vocalists in the music industry, Grammy Award nominee Mindi Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and utter command of the saxophone since her debut album in 1999. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, along with a raucous tone and dynamic stage presence.

Mindi's solo works have sold over half a million albums and garnered numerous #1 radio hits, top 5 solo records and top spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Billboard Blues charts. In 2014, Mindi received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for her solo LP Wild Heart, featuring Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb' Mo' and Max Weinberg. In 2015, she received a second Grammy nomination for her collaboration with Dave Koz, Richard Elliot and Gerald Albright on Summer Horns.

In addition to her acclaimed body of solo work, Mindi was the featured saxophonist on the 2011 and 2012 seasons of American Idol. She joined Paul Shaffer and the band numerous times on the Late Show with David Letterman, sat in with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and joined rock legend Aerosmith for the band's 2012 summer tour.

The daughter and granddaughter of working musicians, Mindi picked up the saxophone in fourth grade and took part in every band program available in elementary school, middle school and high school. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in woodwind performance from the Berklee College of Music, started her own band at the advice of her saxophone instructor Joe Viola and moved to Los Angeles, CA to follow her dreams. She played everywhere she could, even busking on the streets of Santa Monica. While working toward a solo career, Mindi built an impressive resume, touring with a diverse roster of artists, including Bobby Lyle, Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, the Backstreet Boys, Mandy Moore and Teena Marie.

In 2014, after two seasons as the featured saxophonist on American Idol and a summer tour with Aerosmith, Abair released Wild Heart, a compilation of grittier rock and soul tracks featuring some of the biggest names in music. To help translate this sound Wild Heart to her live shows, Mindi enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs. The collaboration was undeniable, and it led to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. Their first record together, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle, was recorded at their first live show and released in September 2015. Their 2017 release, The EastWest Sessions, debuted at #3 on the Billboard Blues Album chart and reached #1 on the Blues Rock Album RMR chart. In 2018, the band won the Independent Music Award's Fan Award for Best Blues Song for "Pretty Good for a Girl," featuring Joe Bonamassa. The group also received eight Independent Blues Awards in 2018, including Best Artist of the Year and Best Contemporary Blues Band.

Mindi is the author of How to Play Madison Square Garden: A Guide to Stage Performance, and she serves as a National Trustee for the Recording Academy and is the host of Mindi Abair's Punta Gorda Wine + Music Fest.

Mindi has toured and/or recorded with Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Gregg Allman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Fantastic Negrito, Waddy Wachtel, Bobby Rush, Keb' Mo', Teena Marie, Lee Ritenour, Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Bill Champlin, Jimmy Webb, Max Weinberg, Dave Koz, Mandy Moore, Lalah Hathaway and the Backstreet Boys.

Mindi Abair's Gear