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Jun 10, 2021 - Everything Saxophone Podcast
Jun 03, 2021 - SLF Music Magazine interviews Mindi
May 27, 2021 - What a Wild Week
May 26, 2021 - Today is for Wild Hearts
May 23, 2021 - Happy Birthday Mindi
May 18, 2021 - Celebrating a Decade+ of Funk
May 13, 2021 - Jazz 90.1 in Rochester interviews Mindi
May 11, 2021 - The Tours Are Coming
May 06, 2021 - May The Stars Be With You
May 05, 2021 - The Selby Courtyard: Eric Guerra and Mindi Abair
Apr 23, 2021 - The Berklee Alumni Achievement Award Ceremony
Apr 22, 2021 - Dave Koz and a Friend at Lunch
Apr 18, 2021 - Living a "Life Less Ordinary" for 15 years
Apr 15, 2021 - Mindi visits the Bubba Army
Apr 11, 2021 - "True Blue" from the LiveStream
Apr 02, 2021 - ABC Action News in Tampa welcomes Mindi
Mar 28, 2021 - Mindi to receive Berklee Alumni Achievement Award
Mar 25, 2021 - Join us in Sonoma, CA & Tuscany, Italy!
Mar 23, 2021 - Mindi takes over the WaterColors' Craft Room
Mar 21, 2021 - Announcing a full band live stream concert on April 9
Mar 15, 2021 - Follow Your Dream - Mindi Abair: Saxophone Star
Mar 05, 2021 - BEST.DAY.EVER
Feb 27, 2021 - Music & Medicine - Episode 1
Feb 25, 2021 - It's Just Been Happening That Way - For 18 Years
Feb 11, 2021 - Switchbox TV Interviews Mindi for their Need2Know Music Show
Jan 07, 2021 - Behind the Beats with the Smooth Jazz Network

News Archives

June 10, 2021

Everything Saxophone Podcast

Donna Schwartz interviews Saxophonist, Composer, Author, Mindi Abair for the Everything Saxophone Podcast.

June 3, 2021

SFL Music Magazine interviews Mindi

BY LORI SMERILSON CARSON

From the city that has been tagged as an "American Best Beach," Clearwater Florida is also home to one of the United States best jazz, blues, rock musicians Mindi Abair. Since her debut album Always and Never the Same released in 1999, this two-time Grammy nominee (Best Pop Instrumental in 2014 and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2015) has received many awards and performed with several world renown artists.

Catching up with this extraordinarily talented vocalist/horn player, she revealed some details about her new album The Best Of Mindi Abair, her new show presently on tour, her side projects and what fans can look forward to.

SFL Music: How is the tour going? I understand the show at the Funky Biscuit was awesome! What can fans look forward to seeing?

Mindi Abair: We have just had so much fun getting back on the road. It’s been a year of not seeing anyone face to face and not playing for anyone and feeling that energy in a room, and so it's just been electric (she laughed). I mean, we played at the Funky Biscuit two shows in a row and after not playing for so long, it was surreal. My band and I were looking at each other like deer in the headlights. You know, really happy joyous deer in the headlights (she chuckled).

SFL Music: How did you put this band together?

Abair: You know, my band (The Boneshakers) has been together for so many years. The keyboard player (Rodney Lee) has been with me twenty years. My guitarist (Randy Jacobs) and I have played on and off together for twenty-five years. So, I’ve got a core band that I've had with me forever, but coming to Florida to do this, you know we had to do limited capacity shows. We played in Punta Gorda three shows. We played my hometown which is Clearwater, Florida fifty percent capacity and then the Funky Biscuit which at the last minute we took to one hundred percent capacity, but we thought it was going to be fifty percent. So, I actually put together an all-Florida band. My one anchor was my drummer Third Richardson and yeah, we put together just a bunch of guys from my hometown and we had a blast and did it. So, it wasn’t my normal band that's been with me for ever and ever. It was people who were here that could make it happen and they’re awesome. We had so much fun.

SFL Music: So, you're from Clearwater?

Abair: Yeah, I was born and raised in Clearwater, so we end up doing a lot as much as we can in Florida. We just played last weekend for 4,000 people at Seabreeze Jazz Festival in the Panhandle and we’re coming back to do Daytona Jazz weekend May 21st-23rd. So, it's nice to be in Florida a lot (she chuckled). It's nice to be home.

SFL Music: What influenced you to become a musician?

Abair: My father plays saxophone and keyboards and I grew up on the road with his band. And when I say I grew up on the road with his band. Not playing in his band, but they took me from the hospital to the tour bus. You know, I was just a baby on the road and we stayed on the road until I was probably four or five. It was a blue-eyed soul band called The Entertainers. They formed in St. Petersburg, and we were just on the road, so we didn’t really have a house until the band broke up and we moved back to St. Petersburg. I was always interested in music. Obviously, I was around it 24/7. My grandmother was an opera singer. So here I had blue-eyed soul music in one ear and opera in the other. My father went on to put together a bunch of rock bands. I then joined the school band and when my teacher Ann Reynolds put all the instruments down on the ground and said, “choose one,” I looked around and looked at the saxophone and just thought, you know what? Dad looks like he's having a blast up there onstage. He was shimmying and shaking and you know, knocking his knees together and having fun and I just thought, I want to have that much fun! And I never looked back. It was the best decision of my life (she laughed).

SFL Music: That's very cool! So, who would you say are your influences musically? I hear in your music jazz, funk, rock, bluesy.

Abair: Yeah. I grew up a rocker girl. I listened to the radio and I watched MTV. Even though I'm on the contemporary jazz charts now and the blues charts now. I really grew up with people like Tina Turner and Heart as role models and I watched people like Aerosmith and (Bruce) Springsteen and that’s how I figured you should be onstage. So, at my concerts you know, I almost want people with their hands over their heads. Dancing and singing and having fun with us. It's definitely not your father's jazz band, you know? You rock out, and we’re usually soaking wet by the second or third song just having fun being in it. It's a really fun band.

SFL Music: What inspires your music when you write?

Abair: You know what? That’s a really interesting question. I just put together a record called The Best Of Mindi Abair, and so I had the chance to look back at twenty years of my recording. I really feel like every record I’ve done is a snapshot of where I was at that time, and the songs I write. I write about things I’m feeling and things I'm going through. You know, there are some records that are love song heavy and that are romantic and flowing, and there are other records that are sheer muscle and power and kind of mojo; and it's interesting to see the different, just phases I've gone through as a musician and I’ve always tried to follow my heart, but all of my influences have come out at different times. You know, definitely influenced by pop because I toured as a band member with Duran Duran and the Backstreet Boys, but yet I'm influenced by rock. Growing up with it, and then touring with Aerosmith and recording with Gregg Allman and Joe Perry. Jazz came into my life because I went to Berklee College of Music and just emersed and so, that comes in as well. It was fun for me to put together this new album and kind of take stock of album by album how my life changed and that you can hear it. So yeah, I think everything influences me with my songwriting. I try and get it all out. It’s a big catharsis, the songwriting process.

SFL Music: People can order your album on your website?

Abair: Yeah. You can order a signed copy on our website which is mindiabair.com and you can get it wherever music is sold or wherever you can listen to music. So, Spotify and Apple music. Amazon. It's a cool package. You can get the physical package. We really had fun. We put 28 pictures in there from over the last twenty something years of performing and album artwork that I had in my archives, and I wrote really extended liner notes just telling the story of how a lot of these songs came to be. You know, stuff that probably people don't know that might know my music, but they don’t know the stories behind it or maybe who was on it. So, I really had fun making a cool package and making it meaningful and telling the story of who I am, to the music.

SFL Music: You mentioned the people that you toured with like Joe Perry, Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Backstreet Boys and you also toured with Joe Bonamassa, Trombone Shorty. What would you say you took away from those experiences?

Abair: You know, it’s so interesting, All I wanted to be is a solo artist coming out of college. I was playing music and I started my own band and I was just, full steam ahead at that, but it was not an easy path. At that point in time unlike right now, you had to get the record deal to get into the pipe line and make records. You couldn’t just do it in your bedroom with your computer like you can now. So, you know, I just heard everything. Oh, we have enough sax players. Good God or your horn and you play, you sing and we don't really know what to do with that. Maybe you need to choose. Come back to us. So, it didn’t happen for me early on, but then I started touring with other people and through these experiences, I gained this depth of who I was. Kind of immersing myself in other people’s music, so you know, I toured with Adam Sandler. That was a blast! I learned that you didn't have to take everything seriously. I come out of this intense jazz school overthinking everything and I was like wait, you can just go out and rock out. Backstreet Boys, I was their keyboard player, sax player, percussionist and every time they changed clothes, I did a sax solo. That was a lot by the way. So, I was running around in front of all these screaming girls every night and there was just so much energy and intensity, and it was an amazing way to live my life for a couple years. Duran as well. Duran is so artistic and John Taylor became a part of my music. He co-wrote the title track to my first CD. It just happens that way with me, and he appears on a bunch of my records. He's either singing or writing or playing, and he's always just been a trusted musical partner. I just think he is an incredible musician. Playing with those guys, it really taught me that it can be more than just the music. They think about the art. They think about what it looks like. They think about how it comes across as a whole piece of art. I mean, that's cool you know? Aerosmith was just sheer power. I walked away from that thinking, Oh. I've got to give more (she laughed). But if you learn something from every artist you play with and take something away, I always think it makes me grow. American Idol was incredible because I got to play with a bunch of different artists. I had been in my own little bubble as a solo artist. You know, I hire who I hire, and I write the songs I write and I get to record the songs that I write, but every once in a while, I really think it's a cool gift to go outside your bubble and do something a little dangerous that pushes you. All those experiences were amazing and even Joe Bonamassa too. He came in to play on "Pretty Good For A Girl" and he took it from a four-minute song to an almost eight-minute song and I was sweating profusely by the end of recording that song. There's a video playing back and forth with him going, oh my God. This is awesome!

SFL Music: You mentioned American Idol. You were also on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and The Late Show with David Letterman. You played on the set with Paul Shaffer. How were those experiences?

Abair: You know what? Sitting in with The Roots was nuts! They are just a well-oiled machine. I walked in there I think with five or six of my original songs that they were gonna learn and play on the breaks and you know, I was the featured guest and oh my God, those guys learned those songs in five minutes flat. In a room the size of my bathroom. We were just all in there like, because backstage, it's not a big place. I mean, we’re all just looking at each other you know, grouped around and oh my God, they played those songs like they wrote them, and when we were on set, they were just, they were amazing. It was epic! The same thing with Paul Shaffer. Paul Shaffer, we played a couple of my songs and they played them as good or better than I usually play 'em. It was great! Then I was the sax player for the show as well and those guys. You don’t even realize. They don't even know what they’re going to play ten seconds before some breaks and Paul Shaffer will just say "Vehicle" the bridge in B flat. I'm like getting out my slide ruler to figure out what that means for me and meanwhile, they're playing the song. And I was just thinking wow! I was not trained for this. I was trained as a band leader and a songwriter. I know what I’m doing there, where as it was like a drug. I walked out of there just (she laughed). I had the time of my life and those guys are just immense musicians. I have the upmost respect for them. It was so fun.

SFL Music: That's something people probably don't even realize. You've also won a lot of awards. You've been nominated for two Grammy’s early on in your career. Eight Independent Blues Awards (Artist of the Year, the L.A. Critics Award for Best Holiday Album). You're also ten years as the L.A. Chapter Governor President and National Trustee for the Recording Academy. Are you on the Board of the Academy?

Abair: I served for about ten years on the Board of Governors for The Recording Academy which is the organization that puts on the Grammy’s, and I went from a Governor on a local L.A. chapter to the President of the L.A. Chapter. I served as a National Trustee for the Recording Academy, and basically what that means is, I was a part of a lot of the outreach that they do. They have incredible, incredible programs that are charitable organizations. That are part of the Recording Academy. Music Cares is their biggest charity and they give to musicians in need. I think most people don’t think about it, but musicians don’t have 401K's. They don’t have insurance plans. There is no kind of safety net. Everyone’s independent just trying to make it on their own and that can lead to some bad stuff. So, the recording academy has this art that really is a safety net for musicians and all people who create music. And I did a lot with their educational outreaches as well. The kids and getting resources to schools that are trying to keep music in schools. So, it was very inspiring to be a part of that organization and do what you can to kind of help our community and uplift our community.

SFL Music: What would you recommend to up and coming musicians?

Abair: I would say to people, go do what inspires you. There's so much possibility right now. Go find what inspires you and go for it. I mean, when I was a kid, I was in Florida growing up. I was a senior in High School. I wanted to be in the Florida All-State Jazz Band and I remember practicing and you had to audition and everything, but then I, I kind of got psyched out. I thought ooh. There's got to be a hundred people that can play me under the table. I'm just this you know, little chick from St. Petersburg Florida and I got psyched out and I quite practicing. I just figured I’m not going to go for it. There’s no point. And I remember my dad coming in, he was like, "hey, playing the saxophone. You’ve been playing a lot." And I told him my reasoning, and he was like, "alright. Well, I guess you can just quit. Sure." And I didn't like that. So, I went for it and auditioned and I got it. I got first chair in the Florida All-State Jazz Band. And I ran back to dad and I was like, oh my God. I did it! This is crazy and he goes, "hey look sometimes it's not the most talented people who get what they want. It's the people who put themselves out there and go for it, and go after what they want. Put themselves on the line."" And I just thought that was the best advice and followed that my whole life. I haven’t gotten everything I’ve wanted, but definitely I reach out and I try, and I say do that. That’s your golden ticket (She chuckled).

SFL Music: That was great advice. Now you also have a Reserve Tastings Wine Company? How did that come about?

Abair: We started our company the end of 2019. I married a wine guy, (she laughed). Yeah, I spent my life making music and my husband has spent his whole life running super cool wineries and he just really wanted to do something more organic and run his own company. So, we decided that we could put the best of ourselves together. We always drink wine and I inevitably pair it with music 'cause that's where my head is at. So, he'll bring home some amazing Cabernet, and I'll just think ooh. A big muscly red wine. That's gonna to be soul music we're listening to tonight! And I'm turning on you know, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin. So, we decided if we like to do that, that we would create a club for people to do that. It’s a membership-based club. We would ship them wine four times a year. He finds amazing wines that no one else can find because he knows a bunch of wine makers and gets these special deals from them on you know, incredible luxury wines. Then I do the artwork and have some of my friends do the artwork who are amazing, and it’s all music centric. Then I put a playlist to each wine. So, each playlist has to do with the wine style you know, pairs perfectly with it. We've got play lists that are total hippie music. We've got play lists that are jazz. We've got playlists that are rock. It just depends on the style of the wine. And we do zoom calls with our members to do tastings when our new wines come out, and we do adventures. We’re actually going to Sonoma with about thirty of our members in June and just doing all these amazing tastings at wineries and eating great food and I’m going to play every night. So, it’s become a really cool family, and we spend time sharing wine and music with them. You can go to reservetastings.com and check it out, or you can go to my website mindiabair.com and there’s a link to it as well, but the wines are spectacular. They’re amazing! You can join on the website and you can choose, you know for each shipment there’s four shipments a year you can choose. If you want four bottles or if you want six bottles or if you want twelve bottles. We found that people were drinking just as much as us during the pandemic (she laughed). I mean look, I didn’t have a gig for a year, but we were dinking up a storm and our wine company was flourishing. Forbes wrote us up. It was pretty funny because all of the sudden you know, people were drinking, so it was a really cool year to kind of do something different and expand this business with my husband. We're having so much fun with it, but check it out. I think you'll love it.

SFL Music: Also, you wrote a book How To Play Madison Square Garden. What inspired that?

Abair: I wrote the book How To Play Madison Square Garden and it's a guide to stage performance. A lot of people have written books about the music business or how to navigate that. Different books on how to play their instrument. How to be a better musician. This is neither of those. This is a book about if you're an artist or a musician, how to better your stage performance, and that’s something that I don't think a lot of people kind of think about. I went to an incredible music school Berklee College of Music, but that's not something that was ever taught. We learned how to play our instrument or how to write music or how to you know, theorize about music, but most people I know in the music business make their living playing live. Apart from this past year. So, I just thought look, I had the incredible honor to be onstage with all these incredible artists. I've seen people kill it onstage and just have audiences in the palm of their hand. I've also seen people do everything wrong. I've seen every mistake made onstage. I’ve made em. So, I just started thinking, I'm gonna write this down. I'm going to put this in kind of a fun textbook form because I think that it’s valuable. People need to know this stuff. They need to think about it and it can make their live shows so much more appealing. It can allow them to connect with an audience where maybe it wouldn’t be because right now, it’s not really fair. Some people who are incredible musicians don’t have anybody buying tickets to their concerts and vice versa. Some people who are marginal, like have tons of people buying tickets to their concerts and you know, it should make more sense though. I think some people think it's not a learned possibility. I totally think you can learn to be a better performer, and so I had fun writing the book. I go in here and there to colleges or to different places and give like master classes on how to create something that's perfect for you onstage and how to make it you. Its very fun.

SFL Music: Was there anything else that you wanted readers to look forward to? Any new music or videos or anything?

Abair: Yeah. I have a new video that we just put out for a song called "April". You can check it out on my YouTube page, and my record just came out this month as well. So, check that out and that’s The Best of Mindi Abair. We already talked about that, but it's always fun having new music.

SFL Music: I know your fans will be looking forward to that. Was there anything else you wanted to add?

Abair: We actually have shows coming up. It’s crazy. What a fun thing to actually have tour dates for this year. We do Facebook live shows on my porch every Tuesday. Follow me on Facebook and you can see. We've had 44 of them since the pandemic started and I have guests every week. Everyone from Bill Champlin from Chicago, to Dave Koz, Casey Abrams from American Idol. So, we’ve had a bunch of cool people on my porch. That's kind of a fun thing. Always a different show.

May 27, 2021

What a Wild Week

Wow, in one week I celebrated my birthday, my anniversary and the 7-year release of my Grammy-nominated WILD HEART Album.

WILD HEART was my seventh full-length solo studio album. Released on this day seven years ago (May 27, 2014), WILD HEART marked my fourth release on Concord Records imprint, Heads Up International. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, staying there for two weeks.

The album received a 2015 Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category, my second Grammy nomination.

WILD HEART was recorded in late 2013 and early 2014 at several studios including Manifest Music in Santa Monica, CA, Elevated Basement Studio in Savannah, GA, Morrisound in Tampa, FL and Skip Saylor Studios in Northridge, CA. The album features several of my good friends as guest musicians, including Max Weinberg, Gregg Allman, Booker T. Jones, Keb' Mo', Joe Perry and Trombone Shorty.

WILD HEART had me stepping away from my traditional smooth jazz style, for a more rock n roll influenced sound.

Critics often commented on the different sound of the album:

James Woods of AXS said "WILD HEART's roots actually go back to when Abair found herself 'moonlighting' - performing a lot of rock and roll, blues and organic music. So it should come as no surprise that sharing the stage with the likes of Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran would eventually be absorbed into her musical psyche. And it was those experiences that inspired Abair to want to capture the mojo she's been holding in for so long."

Thom Jurek of All Music called the record "a much rowdier, grimier fashion."

Jazz Weekly said "Abair's sax growls, grunts and grinds like it's a smoky joint in Lafayette, Louisiana, with more gristle than a T-Bone steak at The Pantry."

And All Music said of the album; "Though it pays unapologetic tribute to retro inspirations, it does so with 21st century sophistication, a gritty, raucous spirit, and exceptional creative imagination."

TRACKS

1. Amazing Game (featuring Trombone Shorty, co-written with Jim Peterik)
2. I Can't Lose
3. Wild Heart
4. Haute Sauce
5. Train (co-written with Jim Peterik)
6. Game On (featuring Joe Perry)
7. I'll Be Your Home (featuring Keb' Mo')
8. The Shakedown (featuring Max Weinberg and Waddy Wachtel)
9. Kiddo's Revenge
10. Addicted to You (featuring Booker T. Jones)
11. Just Say When (featuring Gregg Allman)

You can also find "I'll be Your Home", "Wild Heart", "Haute Sauce" and "Just Say When" on my just-released "Best of Mindi Abair" album.

PERFORMERS

Mindi - vocals, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, hand claps
Adam Berg - piano, organ, tambourine, synthesizers, hand claps
Lance Abair - organ
Dave Yaden - piano
Booker T. Jones - hammond b3
Gregg Allmann - hammond b3, vocals, guitar
Itai Shapira - guitar, bass, tambourine, hand claps
Dave Burris - guitar
Joe Perry - guitar
Waddy Watchel - guitar
Kevin Scott - bass
Elizabeth Lea - trombone
Trombone Shorty - trombone
Todd Simon - trumpet
Dave Colie - drums
Jake Najor - drums
James Gadson - drums
Max Weinberg - drums
Bud Harner - crash cymbal
Jim Peterik - percussion

CREDITS

Design [Cover] – Patty Palazzo
Engineer – Adam Berg, David Burris, Itai Shapira, Jim Morris, John Wydrycs, Shane Baldwin
Engineer [Assistant, Second] – Allen Franco
Engineer [Assistant] – John Silverman, Kevin Coen
Executive-Producer – Bud Harner, John Burk
Management – Bud Harner
Mastered By – Paul Blakemore
Mixed By – Adam Berg
Photography By – Greg Allen
Producer – Adam Berg, Itai Shapira, Mindi Abair
Producer, Arranged By [Horn] – Todd Simon
Written-By – Mindi Abair

May 26, 2021

Wine and Jazz to make a triumphant return

By JOHN WRIGHT Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce

We are so very excited to announce that our award-winning Wine and Jazz Festival will be returning in 2021, in a new and refreshing guise, over the course of four jazz-filled days from Nov. 17-20. Tickets are now available by visiting the shop chamber link at www.puntagordachamber.com.

The four-day program will start at 5 p.m. Nov. 17 with a Mindi Abair Trio performing outdoors at the Peace River Botanical and Sculpture Gardens.

On Nov. 18, Mindi Abair will perform alongside Ron Reinhardt on the patio of Carmelo’s Restaurant including a wine tasting by Eric Guerra, Mindi’s husband.

On Nov. 19, the full Mindi Abair band will reunite for the first time in Punta Gorda since COVID took over our world. The band will perform at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, supported by opener, Reverend Shawn Brown. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Then on Nov. 20, Eric Darius will make a triumphant return to our stage accompanied, as an opener, by Selena Albright, daughter of Gerald Albright, who has performed twice for our festival in past years.

Full details and links to where tickets can be purchased now are on our site, in the Shop Chamber tab. Seats for Wednesday and Thursday come directly via the Punta Gorda Chamber — your order confirmation is your ticket. Rest assured. Your name will be on the list as you arrive at each of these events. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are now available by following the link on our site to Ticketmaster. Once completed, your tickets will be emailed to you directly. You are also able to select your own seats in the area you prefer to be seated. We are truly honored to get this show back on the road. Special hotel rates are available at the Four Points by Sheraton ($109). More hotels to follow shortly. Simply call them asking for the Wine and Jazz rate: 941-637-6770. It’s time to enjoy family, friends and great music once again, right here in our backyard.

Punta Gorda will party (safely) that week for sure.

May 23, 2021

Happy Birthday Mindi

Mindi celebrated her birthday during the Daytona Jazz Weekend. Eric surprised her on stage with a cake and the entire cast of artists played "Happy Birthday". Here is the tail end of the celebration, filmed by Myrna Soto.

May 18, 2021

Celebrating a Decade+ of Funk

Eleven years ago today (5/18/2010), I released 'In H-Fi Stereo' to much critical acclaim, including this review from the Voice of America.

Mindi Abair Explores R&B 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'

Saxophonist Mindi Abair has taken a temporary break from her usual "smooth jazz" regimen to explore the golden age of R&B on her new CD, 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'. The album is funkier and more soulful than anything Mindi has ever recorded.

Remember spinning records on an old hi-fi stereo and watching the needle sway back and forth in the grooves of the vinyl? Or, reading the liner notes printed on the back of album jackets while drum beats vibrated through the speaker's wiry mesh covers. Those long ago but not forgotten moments were the inspiration for Mindi Abair's quest to capture the glory days of funk and soul.

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mindi inherited her musical skills from her father, a saxophonist and keyboard player in a '70s R&B band. "Between watching my father onstage and spending time with my grandmother who was an opera singer, music was always around me," she says.

Mindi first learned to play piano at age five, but switched to alto sax a few years later. Mindi's success in her high school marching band led to more serious training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she earned a degree in woodwind performance.

Mindi relocated to Southern California and became a fixture on tours with Duran Duran, The Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore. Her move into jazz came in 2003 with her first major label solo release, "It Just Happens That Way."

For In Hi-Fi Stereo, Mindi admits that listening to the music of soul icons James Brown, Al Green, Junior Walker, and Archie Bell and The Drells gave her the idea to add funk and soul to her signature pop-jazz style. The outcome, she says, "is a fun, feel-good record inspired by some of those great sounds and grooves from that period."

Mindi composed all but two of the songs on the album, including a tune she describes as "a mix of old Motown and classic Ramsey Lewis", "All Star."

The album, released on Heads Up International (A division of Concord Records) included the following tracks ...

Any Way You Wanna
All Star
L'Esprit Nouveau
Get Right
Be Beautiful
Down for the Count
Girls' Night Out
Let the Whole World Know (Sing Your Song)
It's a Man's Man's World
Take Me Home
The Alley

You can also find “Be Beautiful” on my new “Best of Mindi Abair” album.

CREDITS

Mindi Abair Composer, Horn Arrangements, Primary Artist, Producer, Sax (Alto), Vocals
Lance Abair Hammond B3
Ray Bardani Mixing
Richard Barron Engineer
Rico Bell Composer
Paul Blakemore Mastering
James Brown Composer
Paul Castro Hair Stylist, Make-Up
Jessi Collins Vocals (Background)
Larissa Collins Art Direction
Ryan Collins Composer, Featured Artist, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
James Gadson Drums
Michael Gassel Package Layout
Jay Gore Composer, Guitar (Electric)
Matthew Hager Composer
Constanze Lindsay Han Stylist
Bud Harner Ride Cymbal
David Ryan Harris Composer, Featured Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Lalah Hathaway Featured Artist, Vocal Arrangement, Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Randy Jacobs Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Rodney Lee Composer, Hammond B3, Soloist, Wurlitzer
Reggie McBride Bass, Bass (Upright)
Betty Jean Newsome Composer
Cassandra O'Neal Hammond B3
Phil Parlapiano Composer, Fender Rhodes, Organ
Seth Presant Assistant
Rex Rideout Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Piano, Producer, Programming, Wurlitzer
Wayne Rodrigues Composer
Smitty Smith Bass
Tyrone Stevens Composer
DeWayne Swan Hammond B3
Chris Szczech Assistant
Ken Takahashi Mixing
Jamey Tate Composer, Drums
Stephen Theard Arranger, Composer, Keyboards, Programming
Lee Thornberg Trombone, Trumpet
Michael White Drums
Dave Woodford Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
Tip Wyman Mixing Assistant

May 13, 2021

Jazz 90.1 interviews Mindi

Mindi sat for a remote interview with radio station WGMC Jazz 90.1 in Rochester, NY.

WGMC is one of the Nation's last 24/7/365 public jazz radio stations and plays more hours of live, local jazz than any radio station in the United States.

In Part 1 they discuss her music. In Part 2 she talks about Reserve Tastings.

May 11, 2021

The Tours Are Coming

As Mindi begins to resume perfomances in front of live audiences, she's dropped some hints about a couple of major tours that she will be part of.

Now, we're beginning to see the first dates from both of these tours. And while none of these are "official", since they haven't been announced by the artists' management, we're seeing some venues beginning to post information.

Summer Horns

Mindi, Dave Koz, Kirk Whalum
& Vincent Ingala

Fri July 30 Clearwater, FL
Sat July 31 Jacksonville, FL
Sun Aug 8 Hollywood Bowl
Sat Aug 28 St. Henena, CA
Sat Sep 11 Temecula, CA

A Peter White Christmas

Mindi, Peter White
& Vincent Ingala

Sat Nov 27 Austin, TX
Wed Dec 8 Ponte Vedra, FL
Thurs Dec 9 Melbourne, FL
Tue Dec 21 Oakland, CA
Wed Dec 22 Oakland, CA

We'll keep you informed as these two tours are formally announced with many, many more dates.

May 6, 2021

May The Stars Be With You

While May the Fourth (5/4) is generally recognized as "Star Wars Day" (with apologies to Dave Brubeck), today we celebrate "Stars Day".

Because it was on this day, thirteen years ago, that Mindi released her "Stars" album.

The album peaked at Number 4 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with her single "Smile" reaching No. 1 on the R&R jazz airplay charts. Simultaneously, the single "Stars" (co-written and produced by Matthew Hager) charted at Number 29 Adult Contemporary R&R.

Several of the songs have appeared on Mindi's weekly Wine+Music Sessions, and the opening song "Smile" made the "Best Of Mindi Abair" album. The full track list included...

Smile
On And On
Out Of The Blue
Stars
F.L.A. Swing
I Wonder
Gingerbread Man
Change
Mojo
Here For You
Gonna Be Alright

CREDITS

Mindi Abair Composer, Flute, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Primary Artist, Sax (Alto), Sax (Soprano), Saxophone, Vocal Arrangement, Vocals
Joshua Blanchard Assistant Engineer
Charlean Carmon Vocals (Background)
Ryan Dankanich Sax (Baritone)
Shawn Davis Bass, Guitar (Bass)
Brendan Dekora Assistant Engineer
Richard Dodd Cello
Dee-Dee Foster Vocals (Background)
Matthew Hager Bass, Composer, Drum Programming, Engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Electric), Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Sound Effects, String Arrangements, Tambourine, Vocals (Background)
Bud Harner Management
Kenya Hathaway Vocals (Background)
Andi Howard Executive Producer
Valerie Ince Label Coordination
Abe Laboriel, Jr. Drums, Tambourine
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Patty Palazzo Art Direction, Package Design
Ricky Peterson Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano
Dwight Sills Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Jason Steele Synthesizer Strings
Steve Sykes Engineer, Mixing
John Taylor Guitar (Acoustic)
Stephen Tirpak Horn, Horn Arrangements, Trombone, Trumpet
Mark Wexler Executive Producer

Back in 2008, Jonathan Widran, writing for AllMusic, included some interesting references. Mindi's college friends Abraham Laboriel, Jr (who went on to play in Paul McCartney's band) and Matthew Hager return for the soon-to-be-released "Forever" album. And Jonathan mentioned "the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s".

On one of 2008's most popular and dynamic urban contemporary jazz releases, the popular saxophonist made certain to live up to the lofty title of her previous outing, Life Less Ordinary. Aiming for those Stars, she expanded on the vocalizing she did on her earlier outings and wrote a batch of infectious songs that showcased her attractive vocals like never before. Five tracks -- nearly half the disc -- are adult contemporary pop songs that fit comfortably on the charts alongside John Mayer, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Sara Bareilles.

It may have seemed risky to push the envelope after scoring a number one album, but her instrumental hits always showed that she was a popster at heart. Helping Abair and her guitarist/producer Matthew Hager realize her creative "outside the box" approach is a choice group of stalwarts from the pop world: keyboardist Ricky Peterson, drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr., and Richard Dodd, cello player for the Foo Fighters.

With the media so immersed in reflecting the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s, Abair's ultimate goal with her five vocal tracks is to bring light to the darkness, an unapologetic, optimistic sense of hope and idealism. Case in point: the lilting folk-pop tune "Change," written with frequent collaborator Tyrone Stevens, says that change is the one thing we can count on, and also the concept that can bring us all together.

On the power pop title track ballad, she looks to the "Stars" as a connective thread between lovers who are far apart in physical distance. The Elton John/Lionel Richie-influenced "On and On" reflects wistfully on the innocence of her small-town youth (in St. Petersburg, FL) and the way music has become an integral spiritual part of so many people's lives. Her heartfelt, keyboard-driven anthem "I Wonder" is her generation's twist on the concept of "Imagine," while "Here for You" is an uplifting, autobiographical old-school soul-blues ballad that chronicles her incredible years-long friendship with Hager. These are smartly balanced by instrumentals that range from light and jangling ("Smile") to edgy, bluesy, and funky ("F.L.A. Swing").

May 5, 2021

The Selby Courtyard: Eric Guerra and Mindi Abair

While in Napa, making final preparations for their upcoming Wine+Music Adventure, Mindi and Eric sat with Selby Winery owner and winemaker Susie Selby for Episode 32 of her Selby Courtyard.

April 23, 2021

Berklee Alumni Achievement Award Ceremony

This week the Berklee College of Music in Boston conducted their annual awards ceremony for alumni achievement, honoring, among others, Mindi. You can watch the entire ceremony at the end of this article.

During the presentation, several photos of Mindi during her years at Berklee were shown. We also learned about the history of the college and some of the amazing talent it has produced. And you can also see shots of Mindi in her early performing days - with pink hair!

 

April 22, 2021

Dave Koz and a Friend at Lunch

It was like a normal day again yesterday, meeting for a wine-drenched lunch with my buddy Mindi Abair to celebrate the launch of her GH album and new Pinot Noir!

Congrats Mindela...and get ready y'all...Summer Horns (with Mindi, Kirk Whalum and Vincent Ingala) coming this Summer, we can't WAIT to bring back live shows for you!!

Much love, DK.

April 18, 2021

Living a "Life Less Ordinary" for 15 years

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Mindi's "Life Less Ordinary" album.

Released on April 18, 2006, the album, co-written with Mindi's good friend Matthew Hager (and recorded in his Hollywood bungalow) jumped to #1 on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz Chart. Mindi talks about recording in Matthew's home...

The beauty of recording there was that we could take our time ... make mistakes ... try things that maybe we wouldn't in a big studio with a clock ticking or people watching. Matthew and I went to Berklee together and have been best friends since then. We've seen each other through a lot of music and a lot of phases and experiences. It's great because I'll play a solo and he knows me so well that he'll say, "Take it again. It didn't sound like you. It has to be something you'd play and only you'd play!" Wow. Who else would know what makes me me as a player, but a friend who's been in the trenches with me the whole time as I evolved and learned and became who I am? That's incredible.

And recording in his house in a familiar place is priceless. There's no pressure to be something I'm not. There's no pressure to play perfectly. We're just there to create. Some of the best "takes" on the record are takes that we were just playing around as we wrote the song.

We went back in a bigger studio later to "recreate" those tracks more perfectly, and it wasn't the same vibe, the same spirit. We'd end up using the "demo" because it had more heart and soul and spontaneity. There's a spirit to friends writing a song together and just having fun in the moment.

And talking about an inspiration for the album, she tells us...

One of my major influences for my cd was Rickie Lee Jones's "The Magazine". I couldn't stop listening to it! I ended up covering one of her songs "It Must Be Love". I changed it quite a bit, but it's a tribute to her and what a great writer and artist she is to me.

Several of the additional tracks continue to make their way into Mindi's current shows:

The Joint - A down and dirty, rock/soul jam that's both retro and raucous - an homage to all the broken-down, vibey clubs she played on the way up.

Bloom- Stadium Jazz (by her own definition) where she encourages audiences to wave their lighters (now cell phones) back and forth.

Other highlights from the album include:

It Must Be Love - Featuring Lalah Hathaway on background vocals and Keb' Mo' on a trippy dobro solo.

Rain- A tribute to the spirit of the Hurricane Katrina survivors.

COMPLETE TRACK LIST

1 Do You Miss Me 2 Long Ride Home
3 It Must Be Love
4 The Joint
5 Rain
6 True Blue
7 Slinky
8 Ordinary Love
9 Bloom
10 Far Away

CREDITS

Acoustic Guitar – Goffrey Moore, Matthew Hager
Alto Saxophone – Mindi Abair
Background Vocals, Lead Vocals – Mindi Abair
Featured Background Vocals – Lalah Hathaway
Bass – Larry Klein, Matthew Hager, Stan Sargeant
Cello – Timothy Loo
Congas – Paulinho Da Costa
Cymbal [Ride Cymbal] – Bud Harner
Dobro – Keb’ Mo'
Drum Programming – Matthew Hager, Stevo Théard
Drums – Jamey Tate, John "J.R." Robinson, Juan Hercules
Electric Guitar – Goffrey Moore, Matthew Hager, Michael Landau
Electric Piano – Mindi Abair, Ricky Peterson
Guitar – Matthew Hager, Michael Landau
Keyboards – Matthew Hager, Mindi Abair, Stevo Théard
Organ – Ricky Peterson
Percussion – Matthew Hager, Paulinho Da Costa
Piano – Ricky Peterson
Slide Guitar – Matthew Hager
Soprano Saxophone – Mindi Abair
String Arrangement – Julie Rogers
Synth Bass – Matthew Hager
Tambourine – Matthew Hager
Viola – Caroline Buckman
Violin – Alwyn Wright, Julie Rogers
Vocals – Mindi Abair
Voice [Talking Out Of Turn] – Mindi Abair

Here's to living many more years of a "Life Less Ordinary".

April 15, 2021

Mindi visits the Bubba Army

During her recent trip to Florida, Mindi paid a visit to the radio studio of WWBA in Tampa to see her long-time friend Bubba (a.k.a. Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Todd Alan Clem).

They chatted during a wide-ranging, and at times irreverent, interview and she played in their performance area.

April 11, 2021

"True Blue" from the LiveStream

Did you miss our first LIVESTREAM full band concert Friday night from Revolver Recordings? I know your social calendar is full...respect. But you CAN do/see/be it all... Here's a teaser peek at one song from our set... "True Blue."

We had such a great time being together and playing for you. Thanks for the love and support for this new album and our livestream ... what a blast playing so many songs from across my career for you. It was an epic night.

You can still buy a ticket for the next 7 days and watch at: https://alerttheglobe.com/en/mindiabair. And if you purchased a ticket, you can re-play it at any time for the next 7 days at: https://alerttheglobe.com/en/mindiabairreplay.

And if you have any customer support questions, email info@alerttheglobe.com

April 2, 2021

ABC Action News in Tampa welcomes Mindi

March 28, 2021

Mindi to receive Berklee Alumni Achievement Award

I'm beyond honored to receive this Alumni Achievent Award from Alma mater Berklee College of Music.

Join us on Thursday, April 1 for the Virtual 2021 Alumni Achievement Awards, hosted by Berklee President Roger H. Brown and the Office of Alumni Affairs. This special program recognizes Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee alumni who have excelled in their fields.

This year's honorees include Mindi Abair B.M. '91, Cheche Alara B.M. '94, Jared Braverman '08, Delfeayo Marsalis B.M. '89, Tony Maserati '85, and Mike Mosallam (B.F.A. '06, musical theater).

We hope you can join us! The event is free but you need to register in advance at: Berklee Alumni Achievement Awards.

March 25, 2021

Join us in Sonoma, CA & Tuscany, Italy!

Healdsburg, Sonoma CA Is Ready For Us!

We are starting to put together the itinerary for the June 6-10, 2021 Sonoma Adventure... and we could not be more excited! Wineries are all expressing how eager they are to see us, restaurants are opening back up and welcoming us, and our hotel (H2 Hotel) is getting ready for our stay. The response has been excellent!

We are almost sold out for Sonoma, June 6th - 10th, 2021. If you are interested, please let us know asap by going to our website and join us. We would love to have you with us!

Cheers - Mindi + Eric

March 23, 2021

Mindi takes over the WaterColors' Craft Room

Grammy nominated saxophonist Mindi Abair has rocked the jazz and blues worlds with her edgy, heartfelt melodies since 2002. Along the way she moonlighted touring and playing with everyone from Aerosmith to Duran Duran and Keb' Mo'. In April, Mindi celebrates her 21 year career with an inspiring 19-song collection of her biggest hits plus a few unreleased gems.

As we wrap up Women’s History Month, Watercolors celebrates the artistry of Mindi Abair by sharing a special Craft Room session from her home in California. Listen as Mindi plays songs, shares stories and even performs a few tunes - from her home to yours, The Craft Room, exclusively on SiriusXM Watercolors.

March 21, 2021

Announcing a full band live stream concert on April 9.

For tickets, visit AlertTheGlobe.com

March 15, 2021

Follow Your Dream - Mindi Abair: Saxophone Star

Mindi joins Robert Miller on his Project Grand Slam Podcast.

Everyone has a dream. Robert Miller is a musician whose dream was to become a Rock Star, and he finally pursued and succeeded at his dream when he was in his 60s! He’s living proof that you’re never too old, and it’s never too late, to follow your dream! And in this podcast, Robert will inspire and motivate you to follow and succeed at your dream by sharing his story, his steps to success, and his music - the manifestation of his dream. And he will also feature extraordinary guests who followed their dream to success. Join Robert weekly and get inspired and motivated to take the steps needed to achieve your dream! 

March 5, 2021

BEST.DAY.EVER

"The Best of Mindi Abair", Mindi's new album, is available for pre-order today.

As members of her fan club, you can get a 20% discount on a SIGNED CD. Just use the promo code MINDIWORLD at checkout. Pre-order your copy here.

Thank you for being such a big part of my world. I've missed you so much this year. But I look forward to shows coming back and backstage meet and greets and seeing you all again soon! This album wouldn't exist if weren't for you - my biggest fans. Thank you for always cheering me on, singing along and turning up your radios and stereos.

During her remarkable 21-year recording career, Mindi Abair has garnered 2 GRAMMY Nominations, recorded with some of the biggest names in music, and built a substantial following among jazz and blues audiences with her soaring melodies and powerhouse style. The Best of Mindi Abair is a 19-song collection of her biggest hits, previously unreleased gems, a few of Mindi's personal favorites, and her brand-new song "April." It features a 16-page booklet of personal liner notes written by Mindi, and photos spanning her career drawn from her archive. Hits like "Lucy’s," "Bloom" and "Come As You Are" appear as radio edits, available here for the first time, so you can listen as you originally fell in love with them on the radio. "Make It Happen," written and recorded with legendary soul icon Booker T. Jones, has never been released until now. Other inspired collaborations include "I'll Be Your Home" featuring Keb' Mo', "Just Say When" penned and recorded with Gregg Allman, and her woman-powered blues anthem "Pretty Good For A Girl" featuring guitar hero Joe Bonamassa. Fan favorite "Be Beautiful" checks into the compilation, as does a previously unissued take on the John Lennon classic, "Imagine." "I Love To Play The Saxophone" and "Good Day For The Blues" hail from her albums as Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, and the brand-new song, "April," recorded as the world was shutting down in 2020 rounds out the collection. It brings Mindi's path full circle as it's an instrumental reminiscent of her classic hits and provides the perfect jumping off point for the next chapter to begin. Follow the arc of Mindi's unique musical journey with this 19-song collection featuring songs from 11 different albums, 28 stunning photos, and Mindi telling her story in her own words.

February 27, 2021

Music & Medicine - Episode 1

Mindi joined Petri Hawkins Byrd and Herman Jackson to perform the Bill Withers hit "Use Me" for the premiere episode of Music & Medicine.

February 25, 2021

It's Just Been Happening That Way - For 18 Years

Eighteen years ago today, Mindi released her first record produced by a major label.

GRP (a division of Verve Records) had signed Mindi and released "It Just Happens That Way". The album was recorded in August 2002 at Castle Oaks Studios, Calabasas, California.

Several original songs from the record have stood the test of time. "Lucy's" (Mindi's first big hit) and "Flirt" continue to be highlights of her live shows - at both Contemporary Jazz and Blues venues.

In addition to some top-notch studio musicians, the album also included guest artists Marc Antoine (guitar), Jeff Golub (guitar), Dwight Sills (guitar), John Taylor (vocals) and Peter White (accordion). Mindi's long-time friend Matthew Hager co-wrote most of the songs with her, and also performs on the album.

February 11, 2021

Switchbox TV Interviews Mindi for their Need2Know Music Show

Mindi chats with Ronan in this episode of the Need2Know Music Show.

Enjoy it here ...

January 7, 2021

Behind the Beats with the Smooth Jazz Network

Thanks to the Smooth Jazz Network for featuring me in their "Behind The Beats" segment. We talked what music I'm listening to now, what pandemic shows I've binged and more ...

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?
I grew up on the road with my Dad's blue-eyed soul band watching them play every night. And when his band broke up, we moved to Florida where my grandmother would come over and play and sing Italian arias. She was an opera singer... a coloratura soprano. I'd come home from school and there would be a drummer set up in our living room and a singer singing into my closet recording. My childhood was basically music 24-7, and really varied different music. I loved it. I was a band geek in school, playing in the jazz band, symphonic band, singing in the choir and even became the drum major of the marching band. I never seriously considered doing anything else. I loved music and I figured I'd find a way to do what I loved and see where it took me.

What is your favorite style of music outside of jazz and smooth? Any favorite artists?
I love smooth jazz... it's given those of us who are instrumentalists a beautiful home to make music and express ourselves. It's hard to find a genre of music where there are better musicians... the musicianship in the smooth jazz community is staggering. I listen to a lot of rock 'n' roll and Americana at home. Some of my favorite artists/albums of this past year are Chris Stapleton Starting Over, Ray LaMontagne Monovision, Marcus King El Dorado, and Larkin Poe Kindred Spirits.

What do you love to do during downtime?
I'm a beach girl... I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida where the water gets 85-90 degrees in the summer. It's just a beautiful laid back beach town. My husband and I live in Hollywood, California now, and we take weekly trips to Manhattan Beach here to keep that connection and soak in the beach. It's a total happy place for me. I also love to get busy with projects on my house. I have a 1916 Craftsman that was pretty beat up when I bought it 20 years ago, but in between tours I've restored it and it's a beautiful little oasis in Hollywood now. The pandemic has given us time to do a bunch of little projects we'd wanted to do before, but never had time. It's been fun to get down and dirty and make our house better by the day...instant gratification.

Favorite place to perform live?
For 2020... my porch on Facebook live every Tuesday night! But historically, I love playing the Clearwater Jazz Holiday... 15K people in my hometown on the waterfront... it brings back so many memories of growing up and watching amazing bands. I also love the Catalina Island JazzTrax festival. I've played it since 1994 when Art Good gave me a shot to play as an unknown. And we're coming up to Valentines Day ... for the past 17 years I've done a residency for 4-6 nights at Jazz Alley in Seattle playing every night for Valentines week. We're still booked, but with the covid numbers as they are, I have to think that'll be cancelled. I love it so much. There are so many great festivals that I love... Seabreeze Jazz and Berks Jazz are favorites... there are so many fans that have become friends through the years at these festivals. I miss everyone so much and can't wait to come back and play and hug when it's safe!

Which is more rewarding for you creatively... playing sax or singing?
I think it's great to be able to create and be able to express myself in different ways. If I write a song with lyrics, I'm singing it. If no lyrics come, I'm playing saxophone. I started playing piano when I was 5, and sax when I was 8 in 4th grade band. But I was singing through it all. And different points in my career have brought out different songs and approaches. When I toured with Aerosmith I sang more than I played sax. When I toured with Duran Duran I only played sax. As a solo artist, my first album had only one vocal song on it. My "Stars" album was 1/2 vocal songs. I was just feeling it. On my "Wild Heart" album, it was mostly instrumental, but I sang duets with Keb' Mo' and Gregg Allman. They were meaningful and very autobiographical. You can tell a story with lyrics differently than you can with just a melody. I always feel like an album should be a snapshot of where you're at. I never want to make the same record twice... I want my music to reflect my life. It takes more work to delve into what you're feeling and bring it out in the music, but I believe in that approach wholeheartedly. So I'll use all the tools in my tool belt to make the music I'm hearing!

Favorite Pandemic shows you have binged?
I love that you're asking what I'm watching on tv. 2020 is that year, isn't it?! Usually I hardly watch tv, but I binged a series called Abstract: The Art of Design on Netflix. I love art, and it features great artists of every kind and delves into their process, whether they're album artwork designers or architects. I bought Masterclass for my husband Eric and we've been binging Thomas Keller's cooking classes. We lived in Napa for a few years and his restaurants were ridiculously good. We've never been to his flagship French Laundry restaurant, but Bouchon and Ad Hoc are killer. So now instead of making scrambled eggs in the morning, I'm making a Thomas Keller - inspired omelette!

If you could write and record a song with anyone living or not, who would it be?
Wow that's a crazy question... there are so many incredible musicians that I'd love to write and record with. David Bowie was a huge hero of mine. He played sax, and created such great works of art with his songs changing and morphing throughout his career. He's gone now, so that can't happen. I'm a huge fan of Bonnie Raitt. Her voice is mesmerizing and I love her heart. She makes music that moves me and she's an incredible role model to women in music. She's an excellent player, singer, writer and human being. I love Dolly Parton as well... she's written thousands of songs... She is a force of nature musically and personally, and has built an empire on her talent. She gives so much to the next generation and just keeps making amazing music.

Advice for up and coming musicians?
I learned a great lesson in high school when I wanted to audition for The Florida All-State Jazz Band. I got the music and started practicing for the audition, and a few weeks into practicing I lost my nerve. I psyched myself out! I talked myself into giving up, as I figured there were guys out there that could play way better than I could. My father came in asked why I wasn't practicing. I told him, and he eventually talked me back into auditioning. Well, I ended up winning the 1st chair alto sax position, and I was over the moon. When I told my dad, he said “Sometimes it's not the most talented people that succeed and get what they want in life. Sometimes it's the people that just go for it and put themselves on the line. You have to put yourself out there and go for it and work for it, and then you have the chance to succeed.” What great advice, hmm? I still live by that today. I go for it and care about the music and try for what I want. What a great thing to learn early on!

December 31, 2020

Looking Back On 2020

Mindi created a look back video of the highlights of this year.

Enjoy it here and Happy New Year!

December 23, 2020

"Baby It's Cold Outside" (2020 Edition)

Mindi joined Bryan Lanning and Jen Lilley for a very timely take on this Christmas classic.

More on the collaboration from Jane Sathe of the Virginia Daily Progress ...

This Christmas, actress and singer-songwriter Jen Lilley is putting a humorous pandemic-season spin on a saucy holiday classic.

The University of Virginia alumna is known for her big-screen work in the Academy Award-winning film "The Artist" and her television work in Hallmark Channel films and the daytime dramas "Days of Our Lives" and "General Hospital."

When she isn't on the set, she's likely to be found working on her music. Her new project, a duet of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that she wrote with multi-Grammy-winning producer Rob Christie and performed with singer Bryan Lanning, pokes lighthearted fun at the frustrations of the COVID-19 pandemic. "The neighbors might think ('Baby, it's bad out there'), I'm not distancing" is just one of the updated lyrics.

Creating the duet under social distancing conditions meant that Lilley, Lanning, saxophonist Mindi Abair, stand-up bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Gregg Field had to record their parts in separate locations.

Lilley also stays busy preparing and hosting her "Fostering Hope with Jen Lilley" podcast, which helps listeners learn more about foster care and how to get involved. Proceeds from sales of the duet will help buy presents for 400 homeless children in Roanoke, Lilley's hometown, which definitely can help take the chill off a most unusual holiday season.

Lilley took some time in the midst of a production earlier this week to answer some emailed questions about her new recording.

Q: Many folks over the years have heard a menacing or predatory feel in the original lyrics, but the playful exchanges between the singers and catchy melody keep the song a favorite. How can your new lyrics help bring fans back to the song?

A: I think everyone could use some holiday cheer, and laughter is good medicine for the heart and spirit. While the pandemic is very serious, we're hoping the lighthearted nature of our rendition makes everyone remember we're all over it, but we're all in this together, and all we can do is laugh and get through it.

Q: What was it like singing with Bryan? Do you think you'll team up with him again?

A: I would LOVE to team up with Bryan again. This collaboration was fun because we literally had to record remotely, so we've never officially met - except through FaceTime, which is so 2020 appropriate and only adds to the charm of our parody.

Q: 2020 has been a wild one for everyone. How were you able to tap into holiday spirit while recording in separate rooms for safety?

A: Holiday music always gets me in the spirit, so it was a much-needed reprieve after a long year.

November 28, 2020

Rick Braun's Christmas Cafe

Each week, Rick Braun hosts "Rick's Cafe Live" (RCL) from his living room. This week, he hosted Mindi for an all-Christmas show.

If you missed it live, you can watch it here ...

November 10, 2020

Mindi's Wine+Music Session #26 - Mashups with Rodney Lee

Mindi was joined on her porch for Session #26 by her long-time friend and keyboardest Rodney Lee. One of Rodney's passions has been creating mashups of recorded songs. Mindi and Rodney played together on several mashups of 70's funk tunes:

Jungle Man & Burn
Back to Life & Positive Thing
Suit and Tie & Pleasure for Your Pleasure
Golden & Thank You
The Middle & Stomp and Bucket
Rumor Has It & Cold Sweat

And Eric introduced the new Reserve Tastings Malbec.

Watch the entire Session 26 here, then catch up on any of the prior sessions.

Session #26 - November 10 Election Night Special Session #25 - October 27
Session #24 - October 13 Session #23 - September 29 Session #22 - September 22
Session #21 - September 8 Session #20 - September 1 Session #19 - August 18
Session #18 - August 11 Session #17 - July 28 Session #16 - July 21
Session #15 - July 14 Session #14 - July 7 Session #13 - June 30
Session #12 - June 23 Session #11 - June 9 Session #10 - June 3
Session #9 - May 19 Session #8 - May 11 Session #7 - May 4
Session #6 - April 28 Session #5 - April 21 Session #4 - April 14
Session #3 - April 7 Session #2 - March 31 Session #1 - March 24

November 10, 2020

Mindi Performs in a Ruth Eckerd Hall Benefit for their Recovery Fund

As a not-for-profit performing arts organization, Mindi's hometown Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, relies on a combination of ticket sales and charitable contributions to fulfill their mission. Each fall they host a fundraising event to raise critical funds for their mission to change lives through the performing arts. This year, the event had to be virtual with Mindi appearing along with a host of other artists.

We join the Gala with Mindi's performance of Bloom.

November 3, 2020

A Little Counter Programming on Election Night

Mindi surprised us with a bonus Wine+Music Session with Dave Koz.

Playing once again from her back porch in Hollywood, Mind played "America the Beautiful". Then Dave played "God Bless America". They both joined in with "The Star Spangled Banner", and sprinkled in a few other favorites.

Eric used his sabre to lop off the top of a bottle of champagne, in a celebratory salute to America.

Originally, Mindi and Dave had planned to surprise voters standing in line at several polling places with some live music. However, after visiting six polling sites in Los Angeles they found no lines at any.

So, they decided to bring their surprise popup mini-concert to the internet as a bonus Wine+Music Session.

October 30, 2020

ROCK AT NIGHT Inteviews Mindi

Rock At Night loves to celebrate women and we proudly have a category on our website "Women in Rock." With our upcoming Winter print edition celebrating "Women in the Music Industry," it is only fitting that we interview the rockin' two-time Grammy nominee Mindi Abair.

With a stellar career spanning experience as a saxophonist, singer, and songwriter, Mindi has had radio hits in the jazz, blues, and pop world-both as a solo artist as well as a member of R&B band Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers.

She has toured and worked with many amazing artists - Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Perry, Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Greg Allman - which is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even in the midst of the pandemic, Mindi is still as busy as ever, doing her weekly musical livestreams where fans can virtually share a glass a wine with her from her company Reserve Tastings Wine Company. Whether at the piano singing, playing a duet with husband and business partner Eric Guerra, or collaborating on the front porch with friends, she welcomes fans into her home, keeping spirits upbeat during this strange year.

In this podcast, Mindi discusses her experience as a female in the male-dominated music world; her involvement with The Recording Academy, She Rocks Awards, and MusiCares; her latest release "Forever"; Yamaha's digital saxophone; working with Greg Allman; and more!

Listen to the complete podcast below ...

October 20, 2020

Mindi To Host "In Concert For Cancer"

Mindi will join ICFC founder Michele Abrams as hosts of this year's first ever Virtual Gala.

In Concert for Cancer is a music centric cancer fighting charity that presents concert events featuring acclaimed touring musicians, and curated once-in-a-lifetime music experiences. Our mission is to unite and inspire cancer fighters, survivors, caregivers and communities. We do this by sharing the uplifting power of music to raise awareness and funding for groundbreaking immunotherapy cancer treatment, research and patient programs.

The concert will occur on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at 8:00 PM (Eastern)/5:00 PM (Pacific).

To purchase tickets, visit InConcertforCancer.org

Please note: Mindi will be hosting only - not performing.

October 13, 2020

Peter White Christmas Tour Cancelled

While it had never been officially announced, although several venues had begun to leak the word, Peter White has now cancelled his 2020 Christmas Tour. The tour was to have featured Peter, Mindi and Vincent Ingala.

Here is the statement from Peter ...

If and when we hear the details of a virtual Christmas concert, you will be among the first to have the information.

September 28, 2020

Mindi Abair, Tour Guide

SHOUTOUT LA conducted a wide-ranging interview with Mindi. And one question caught our eye ...

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you'd want to take them around to?

I love Los Angeles. I love coming off the road and being home and enjoying everything this city has to offer. There's no place like it on earth. I've lived in Hollywood for so many years, and it's addictive.

If you come to LA there are a few stops that you should make to soak it all in!

I'm food driven, so you're going to get a bunch of eating and drinking destinations from me! For breakfast, stop in at The Griddle. It's in the middle of Hollywood. It's small, crowded and there is blues music rockin' the place 24-7. An order of banana pancakes will serve a family of 8 ... it's big food. Their bacon is to die for. Start there!

I'm a beach person. I grew up in Florida, so being at the beach makes me feel at home. My favorite beach in the LA area is Manhattan Beach. I lived there for a few years, and it was such a beautiful community to be a part of. It's a haven for great volleyball players. I'm not one of those ... I just like watching the games! And the surrounding blocks for food are incredible. My favorite restaurant at the beach is Fishing With Dynamite. It's a few blocks off the beach. It's small with super hip art on the walls, and everything they serve is fresh, thoughtful, and amazing.

I'm not a big workout girl, but I love a good hike, and LA Is packed with cool places to hike. There's a street in Los Feliz called Commonwealth. Drive to the end of Commonwealth into the Hollywood Hills. Park and start walking. You'll end up at the Griffith Observatory, which is historic. You get an amazing view of the city from there, and it always puts me in a completely different headspace.

If you're looking for great Mexican food, you're in the right city! I named my first single "Lucy's" after Lucy's El Adobe on Melrose. As the single worked its way up the jazz charts, I would show the chart to the owner, Lucy. Special margaritas started showing up at our table. And after "Lucy's" stayed #1 for 8 weeks, she placed a "Reserved" sign on my favorite table. It stayed there for the next 10+ years. Lucy was a huge supporter of artists, and her loyal clientele reflected that. The Eagles, Linda Rondstadt, Jackson Brown, and more were her "kids" as she called them. Check out the photos all around the restaurant as you're sipping on a margarita ... or two! It's an amazing place.

You're going to need to see some music while you're in LA. The Hollywood Bowl is a must. There's no place like it on earth. It's iconic. You can bring a bottle of wine and it doesn't matter if you're in the bleacher seats in the back or the tables front row, you're going to feel the magic. I have a favorite haunt that I've loved since I moved to LA.

I'm a super fan for Marty and Elayne, who have played The Dresden in Los Feliz for 38 years straight. There's no cover charge. Tuesday through Saturday they play from 9:15pm - 1:15am. If you saw the movie "Swingers" you might recognize them. It's pure joy for me ... I grab a vodka tonic and just chill and listen. Request "Stayin' Alive." Thank me later.

A few fun destinations ... go back in time at The Old Place in Malibu. The food is great, and you can grab a glass of wine before dinner next door at Cornell Winery. Downtown LA is bustling. There is so much going on ... definitely grab a drink at the Edison. It feels like an entire underground city ala Gotham City. And they have incredible burlesque shows throughout the week!

One of my favorite shopping destinations is Wasteland on Melrose Avenue. It's a "vintage" boutique, but you'll get crazy designer clothing that was either used for a day on a shoot or bought and worn once. I've bought a lot of my stage clothes there. You'll see vintage jackets and shoes right alongside brand new Gucci, Chloe, Prada, RtA, Hermes, and more. Trust me when I say you'll never go to another vintage shop that holds a candle to this place!

I think everyone needs a little rock 'n' roll in their lives. You can check into the Sunset Marquis hotel and revel in rock 'n' roll history. The art gallery in the lobby is epic. The bar in the front is legendary. The restaurant in the back is a secret gem of LA. And there's even a recording studio hidden away in the building. So much rock 'n' roll history has gone down here. This is the epicenter of all those stories you've heard about ... live it for a few moments, even if you just grab a drink at the bar!

I hope you enjoy my tour of LA ... enjoy! And come back often ... there are so many things to do and see.

September 24, 2020

The Making of "Forever"

"Forever" is my first solo single since 2014.

I've lived so much life since my last solo album Wild Heart. That album gave me my first Recording Academy / GRAMMYs nomination, and it was a coming together of forces that changed my life. I wanted to make an album that showed all of me...that allowed me to give everything and play with abandon, write with abandon, and express it all through my music.

I had this amazing solo career in Smooth/Contemporary Jazz, but I'd find myself moonlighting playing with Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Keb' Mo' and appearing on American Idol with Phillip Phillips. I was loving rootsy blues, soul and rock music so much... it's the music I grew up with, but I wasn't bringing it to my own career. I asked my friends to help me find my way to accomplish this.

I wrote and recorded a duet with Gregg Allman. I had Joe Perry from Aerosmith play with me on a song. I opened the album with Trombone Shorty. Booker T Jones and I wrote a song and performed it. Keb' Mo' joined me for a song, and so did Max Weinberg and Waddy Wachtel. I found a way to bring my love of rootsier music to my sound as a solo artist.

That led me to create my first "band" joining forces with The Boneshakers to create Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, and we toured and made 4 albums together, rocking the blues and rock world.

In that time I was constantly writing music that was more personal and more melodic. It didn't fit the band... it was all me. I've come back to me to make new music and take all that I've learned along my musical journey to make an honest, beautiful, and amazingly personal album.

My new song "Forever" represents a coming back to myself as a solo artist and feeling this sense of belonging, of knowing who I am and what I stand for. I wrote it with 2 long time friends who have written with me on many of my albums, Ty Stevens and Wayne Rodrigues. This song to me feels like a chant... a statement of power like "Mindi Abair Forever!" I hope you hear the heart and soul in it.

I recorded this song in Los Angeles the first week of March 2020. We knew there was a pandemic, but it wasn't real in America yet. In the studio we touched elbows instead of hugging, knowing that we needed to stay safe, but we had no idea what was to come. The musicians and people associated with this track are epic. abraham laboriel Jr is the drummer. He and I were best friends and classmates at Berklee College of Music. He played on my Stars album back in 2010, but he's hard to nail down for any studio dates, as he's been Paul McCartney's drummer for 20+ years. He brings so much spirit and friendship and good vibes to this song.

Sean Hurley Bassist plays bass. If you're a @John Mayer fan, you've seen and heard Sean in his band for years. He has this incredible touch and approach to his playing. And he's just a great spirit, again, to add to this song. Tim Pierce Guitar is someone that I worked with when I did the movie "Danny Collins" with AL PACINO #1 Tim was Al Pacino's guitarist, and I was his sax player! Tim is the guitarist to the stars... he's played on so many albums. I think my favorite Tim Pierce appearance is on the song "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls. He plays all the mandolin and that vibey slide guitar solo. He brought so much to this song sonically.

And my keyboard player of 19 years, Rodney Lee, is on piano and B3 organ. He's been the rock of my band for a long time. You've seen him as Dave Koz's musical director for his cruises for 5+ years and I love the series of children's albums he's made as Groove Kid Nation. He's like a brother to me after so many years playing with him, and I can't name a better keyboard player. He's the man.

My engineer was Niko Bolas, who's been at the helm of everyone's albums from Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Steve Perry (Journey) and Neil Young - Reprise Records. He made sure we all sounded good... it was crucial to have someone that could take real instruments being played in real time with each other... sound great. There were no synthesizers or samples or anything electronic... it was all earthy and warm to capture the personal feel of this song.

I produced the track alongside my friend and manager, Bud Harner. Bud signed me to my first album deal with Verve Records back in 2002 and has been an integral part of my career since. What an honor to produce this song and bring it to life with him.

I hope you love "Forever" and I hope you feel the same emotion I feel playing it.

And if you want the wine it pairs perfectly with, that's Soundwave, and the actual soundwave of "Forever" is on the label. It's amazing. Go to reservetastings.com to walk away with wine AND music!

September 22, 2020

Wine+Music Session #22

Ellis Hall - The Ambassador of Soul - joins Mindi

Mindi and Ellis played "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You", "Welcome", "Georgia On My Mind", "Use Me", "Don't Know Much About History", "Gotta Get Ready", and "A Change Is Gonna Come".

And Eric talked about SOUL 2016 Paso Robles Cab.

Watch the entire Session 22 here, then catch up on any of the prior sessions.

Session #22 - September 22
Session #21 - September 8 Session #20 - September 1 Session #19 - August 18
Session #18 - August 11 Session #17 - July 28 Session #16 - July 21
Session #15 - July 14 Session #14 - July 7 Session #13 - June 30
Session #12 - June 23 Session #11 - June 9 Session #10 - June 3
Session #9 - May 19 Session #8 - May 11 Session #7 - May 4
Session #6 - April 28 Session #5 - April 21 Session #4 - April 14
Session #3 - April 7 Session #2 - March 31 Session #1 - March 24

September 20, 2020

MindiWorld Member Keeps Artists and Fans Connected

When the pandemic hit, concerts were cancelled and lockdowns began, one of our members, Marilyn Lingenfelter James sprang into action.

Mindi explains,

Thanks to Smooth Jazz Magazine for featuring Marilyn Lingenfelter James who started an online group to showcase the Facebook live shows that have kept us all entertained and connected during this year. My Mindi Abair's Wine + Music Sessions were featured along with Rick Braun's Cafe Show, Brian Culbertson's Hang, Adam Hawley and more.

Check out the story below, or click here for the entire September/October edition of the Smooth Jazz News.

September 15, 2020

American Blues Scene Interviews Mindi and Eric

By JD Nash

For the time being, Mindi Abair and Eric Guerra are fine with their Reserve Tastings Wine Company. The only pairing better than the ones they offer, is the one they are.

What do you get when you combine a 2X GRAMMY nominee with an award-winning wine expert and author? In the case of blues saxophonist Mindi Abair and her husband Eric Guerra, you get something new, fresh, and personally catered: The Reserve Tastings Wine Company.

Abair is one of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists in the blues world. A two-time GRAMMY nominee, she has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 1999. Guerra is an acknowledged wine expert with over 18 years experience, having managed or sold over 20 million cases and developed over 500+ wine brands. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed When Great Wine Is Not Enough - A Wine Sales & Marketing Guide For Wineries, Négotiants & Wine Brand Owners.

The two have combined their passions into a truly unique business. At Reserve Tastings Wine Company Eric finds small-lot, luxury wines that are not available to the public. Mindi then creates originally designed label artwork, and curates a music playlist for each wine. Then the wines are shipped to members four times a year for the ultimate wine + music experience.

We recently got to chat with the couple from their home in, where else, the California wine country.

JD Nash:
So how did Reserve Tastings get started?
Mindi Abair:
Basically I've spent my life as a musician, making records and touring with my band. My husband Eric has spent his life in the wine business. He has run some of the coolest wineries that all of us know; Kendall-Jackson, Mumm Napa, all these cool wineries. But at a certain point, you know we're home together, he brings home great wine and we're always drinking wine and I invariably pair it with music. He'll bring home a great Cabernet Sauvignon, and I'll look at him and say, 'Well, we're listening to soul music then.' That's what pairs with big red wine. We're listening to Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. We looked at each other one night and thought, we love doing that, maybe other people would too. So we decided to form a membership club that would be wine and music.

Eric knows wine, so he reaches out to his friends in the industry and we buy these wines that no one else can get in really small lots. Once we get the wine, I will create artwork that goes with it that's music-centric. It's all about the music qualities of the wine. Then I'll put a playlist to it. I'll create a playlist the describes how the wine tastes in my terms, because I'm not a geeky wine guy like he is. I'm a musician so I'm going to think in those terms.

One of our wines is called Harmony, and the playlist to it is all these bands that have great harmonies; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Fleetwood Mac, Little River Band. It works out great and people get shipments from us four times a year. It's just a blast. We also go on adventures to different places in the world and just share wine and music.

Has this really helped you economically during these pandemic times?
Mindi Abair:
You know, it's interesting the whole world closed up for us as musicians in March. I was in the studio doing a new record and we had big tour plans, and then all of a sudden, the world closed up. We've been sitting home ever since. We started doing wine and music Facebook Live sessions every Tuesday night and that was just a cool way to stay connected to people. Then we'd do live virtual tastings, where Eric will go through wines, and we'll play music and have fun. It's just an amazing way to stay connected because, boy, everybody wanted to drink wine through this.

This has been a really interesting year. We started this wine company almost a year ago, and we obviously didn't see this coming, but it has built our business. People have joined the club virtually. They don't even get to taste the wine, but they join just to be part of this journey. What a great time to start a wine and music club.

When you say you make art that corresponds with the wine that goes out, are we talking about the label?
Mindi Abair:
Yeah. Every wine has its own label and brand that we create once we find the wine. It's either me creating the artwork or friends of ours. Our first wine was called Treble Clef Chardonnay, and it's the treble clef that I write. I mean everyone has their own kind of treble clef that they draw, well this one's mine. But on our Harmony wine, one of our friends drew the label. He's a rock 'n roll painter and he's just phenomenal. He did all the punk rock stuff for The Clash and The Ramones, and he's done cover art for Duran Duran, Oasis, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers. It's cool to draw on our friend's talent and try to get that style and art that kind of feed off each other and show people what it is.

I noticed one of the labels was your song title "Pretty Good For a Girl."
Mindi Abair:
Yeah (chuckles), that was one of the first wines we put out. I just figured rosé is one of those wines that people don't think that much of. They don't expect much from it. But, this particular rosé that Eric found is just the total luxury rosé and it's kick ass. It's incredible. The reason I wrote that song is because I have people come up to me all the time after shows. They'll look at me, shake my hand, and go, "Wow! You're pretty good for girl." As if they don't expect it. I know they have the best intentions, but it's funny to hear that night after night, and year after year. It became the name of my record label as well and this wine just kind of brings it out of me. You're not going to expect much from a rosé, but this one kicks ass.

The music that you pair it with. How does that get to the members?
Mindi Abair:
Actually we use the power of what's already out there. Why create your own when something amazing already exists? So we have our own Spotify page that's for Reserve Tastings, and each wine has its own playlist. There's a link to Spotify on our website, so you don't even have to be a member to check out the playlists and play them while you drink the wine. It just makes it easy for everyone.

The beauty of having something virtual is that everyone can be a part of it. You can pull it up on your phone from anywhere. You can be sitting on the beach with a bottle of our wine, and pull up the playlist and enjoy it.

You ship four times a year correct?
Eric Guerra:
Yes. Four times a year, and two different wines each time. Usually a white and a red to please both the white and red drinkers. We try not to ship during the summer months, so the last time we shipped was April. The next time we ship will hopefully be the end of September or early October. We want to protect the wine a little bit and not get too crazy with it. Four times a year is just right for us. Some wine clubs ship six or ten times a year and that's just too much. We like to be on people's radar but not inundate them with with too much. And, they can always come back and buy more from us.

Also, each shipment is unique. All the wine is new, and all the artwork is new. It makes for an interesting club because you're always getting something new and fun.

Now you do live tastings as well right?
Eric Guerra:
The way we get members is one of two ways. Either you spend millions of dollars online which we didn't want to do, nor do we have. Or, Mindi sees thousands of people every year so a lot of these promoters are super onboard with it. We come in early, and do a little wine tasting with their VIPs. It could be twenty people and we've had as many as 80 to 100 people. We get people signing up for the club like crazy at these events. Then they go to the show right after that, so it creates a really cool evening for Mindi's fans.

Let's say she plays a show in Indiana once a year for example. Well, you see those fans once a year. But now they're interacting with us four or five times a year through the club. Now, all these fans that she has are now becoming much closer to her because of it. Plus it adds a revenue stream outside of just show tickets and merch, so that's kind of nice.

Mindi Abair:
It's awesome, and I don't have to be anything else. This isn't just some business we decided to try because music isn't happening right now. No. I get to stay a musician and he gets to stay a wine person. It's a beautiful thing that we can have this other business that's attached to my business.

You get to spend more time together this way as well.
Eric Guerra:
You totally hit it on the head. The last big cruise we did was the Blues Cruise, and I got to go because we did a big wine tasting and it was awesome. This way my business is with her which is all I'd ever need in my life. We'll just keep building it up so that this company can be wherever we exist. Could be on the Blues Cruise, could be in L.A.

Mindi Abair:
Just recently we did one in Florida. We're trying to bring music back safely, and my home town is in the Clearwater, Florida area. The promoter for Ruth Eckerd Hall told us, "It's a crazy idea, but come in for 4 nights, we'll sell 100 tickets a night. We'll do it completely socially distanced. We'll check people's temperatures at the door, and seat them at tables of 4. But it'll still feel like a concert." It was a really cool way to bring back live music to my home town in a safe way, and the wine tastings were just super fun. It was a great experience.

How many of the live tastings do you do a year?
Eric Guerra:
We'd like to do 300 (both laughing).

Mindi Abair:
I love being on the road. It's my happy place. The more concerts we can do the better, I just want to make sure we can do them in a safe way for everybody. It's all a symbiotic relationship with us and the promoters. It's not just the musicians trying to survive right now, but the promoters are trying to survive too. We're all in this together.

I've also got a new album in the can, and one song on the album is with Kenny Wayne Shepherd. But it's not going to come out until we have enough tour dates to really support it. So, obviously I can't wait to get out there and play more.

Can you tell me about the Music Adventures?
Eric Guerra:
Yeah. There are a lot of artists that do cruises, but since we have this wine, we wanted to make sure we could get to wine regions. A lot of those are inland, like Healdsburg, Sonoma, California, like Napa Valley, like Tuscany, Italy. So Mindi and I came up with the idea of taking smaller groups, around 50 people, and have a full week of wine and music in whatever region we're in. We'll do wine tastings at the wineries, play some music there, and then continue the wine tastings at the local restaurants at night. We had them planned but haven't been able to do any yet, so we have our first one planned for Sonoma in the Spring. We should be able to travel safely by then.

Mindi Abair:
And Sonoma is where Eric lived for 15 years. He was right there in Healdsburg which is the epicenter of wine country. We can go in, take over a couple of these wineries, drink some wine, have some good food. It's just the perfect scenario for us.

We'll also be back to our little festivals when the world comes around. Like Mindi Abair's Punta Gorda Wine and Music Festival. It's like these other festivals are all great, the music's great, but then there's Coors Light to drink. I mean, c'mon. Help me out here.

Can you tease us a bit about the new album you have coming out?
Mindi Abair:
The new album is called 'Forever.' I don't know when it will come out, probably early next year. It's really kind of a personal record. The last four records I've recorded have been as Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, and I was writing all this music that was maybe not the right stuff for that band. That band was a lot of muscle; a lot of sheer power and mojo. But I was writing these songs that were a little more sensual and a little more personal that weren't right for the band, but I thought I'd pile them up and maybe release a solo project again.

This is the first solo record I've made since 2014 and I just think it's beautiful. I had my friend that played drums for Paul McCartney, Abe Laboriel, Jr. plays drums on it, my keyboardist of almost 20 years Rodney Lee,  Sean Harley's on bass from John Mayer's band. And actually, and this is crazy, Steve Perry from Journey came in and was just kind of hanging out with us, and he ended up singing background for us on 4 or 5 songs. So he became the most over-qualified background vocalist in history. Then Kenny Wayne Shepherd came in and did a song with me called "What About Love." He's such a powerhouse. And then Raul Malo from The Mavericks did a duet with me called "Say it With Love." I'm just psyched. We just released the first single, which is a little jazzier, and little more chill. I think we'll release a couple more singles and just keep the music coming a little bit more, then we'll drop the record.

With a new album set to launch as soon as live venues can start booking tours again, for the time being Mindi and Eric are fine with their Reserve Tastings Wine Company. The only pairing better than the ones they offer, is the one they are. Wine drinkers and music lovers unite! Join the club, sample the great wines, and enjoy the specially selected accompanying music. Here's another little teaser - according to Mindi, the next shipment is called, "Shades of Blue," and the accompanying music will be "some badass blues." Sounds like the perfect time to jump onboard the Reserve Tastings train.

September 14, 2020

Come As You Are (But maybe change out of your PJs first)

Sixteen years ago, Mindi invited us to "Come As You Are".

Today, however, she's more likely to say "Stay where you are. I'll bring the music - every Tuesday."

On this day in 2004, Mindi's second studio album was released and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. The 11-track album was recorded in the Hollywood bungalow of longtime co-composer and producer Matthew Hagar. A hidden 12th track, "26 Hemenway," is named after her address at the Berklee College of Music.

The complete track list, featured all original songs ...

Come As You Are
Shine
Every Time
Head Over Heels
Make A Wish
Sticks And Stones
I Can Remember
New Shoes
High Five
You'll Never Know
Cyan
and after a few seconds of silence, the hidden track ...
26 Hemen Way

Joining Mindi (who played alto and soprano sax, keyboards, flute, cymbals, tambourine and handicapping) were Lance Abair (tenor sax), Luis Conte (percussion), Russell Ferrante (piano), Steve Ferrone (drums), Matthew Hager (bass, acoustic and electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, and hand clapping), Bud Harner (hi-hat, ride cymbal), Michael Landau (guitar), Dan Marfisi (guitar), Ricky Peterson (fender rhodes, organ and piano), Julie Rogers (violin), Anatoly Rosinsky (violin), Stan Sergeant (bass), Ty Stevens (guitar), Jamey Tate (drums), Lee Thornburg (trumpet and trombone), Kevan Torfeh (cello), and David Woodford (bari sax).

Matt Collar, of ALLMusic Review, wrote ...

Smooth jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair delivers a laid-back and sensual performance on Come As You Are. More pop than jazz, Abair plays mostly melody lines and the occasional bluesy aside. The album consists largely of dance- and groove-oriented numbers, although Abair does take some charming vocal turns on the mellow ballads "Every Time," "I Can Remember," and the Latin-inflected "You'll Never Know." To these ends, Abair has a soft and elfin voice reminiscent of the Cardigans' Nina Persson, and the combination of her vocals, sax chops, and cover girl good looks makes for a compelling package. Fans of similarly inclined artists such as Candy Dulfer and Dave Koz should find much to enjoy here.

You can enjoy a video of the title track here ...

September 13, 2020

Wildfires Victims Support

Three years ago, Mindi and the Boneshakers recorded a special version of "Lean On Me" in support of the victims of California's wild fires.

With fires now raging along the entire West Coast, it seems to be a good time to show it again.

How you can help evacuees

* Donate to the American Red Cross by writing "California Wildfires, "Oregon Wildfires" or "Washington Wildfires" in the memo line of a check and mailing it to your local Red Cross chapter with the completed donation form. For California wildfires, you can also text "CAWILDFIRES" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Local residents can volunteer their services.
* The Salvation Army is providing food, water and emotional support to evacuees and first responders in several locations.
* Extra room in your home? Offer to host people in need of emergency housing on AirBnB.
* Donate to various wildfire relief funds through the nonprofit GlobalGiving.
* The California Community Fund and Oregon Community Fund support both immediate disaster relief and long-term recovery efforts.
* GoFundMe.org has set up a general relief fund to distribute grants to various individual and community campaigns.
* World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés, is providing tens of thousands of meals across California.
* United Way chapters in various regions offer immediate and long-term recovery assistance, providing housing and other basic needs to displaced families.

How you can help firefighters

* The California Fire Foundation provides financial and emotional support to surviving families of fallen firefighters, firefighters, and their communities.
* Direct Relief provides N-95 masks, medicine and resources to first responders.
* The Los Angeles County Fire Foundation financially and emotionally supports paramedics, firefighters, lifeguards and other personnel.
* The National First Responders Fund provides support including post-traumatic stress treatment, cancer prevention, toxic exposure, chemical dependency and critical incident support, outreach and activation.
* The Wildland Firefighter Foundation helps families of fallen firefighters and assists injured firefighters and their families.

How you can help animals

* Red Rover, an organization that helps animals during crises, has a comprehensive list of pet-friendly lodging, animal shelters, animal hospitals, open fairgrounds, equestrian centers, transportation options and locations to pick up pet food and supplies in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. You can donate directly to Red Rover, or find a local organization on its website.
* The Volunteers for the Emergency Management of Animals Network works to connect volunteer services with animal owners during crises. Volunteers can provide temporary homes or transportation to a wide variety of animals.

September 4, 2020

Forever - The Single

MY FIRST SOLO SINGLE SINCE 2014... "FOREVER" - Turn it up!

Apple Google Spotify Amazon YouTube Deezer

Auguat 30, 2020

A Restart - At Home

Wrapping up our weekend of 4 SOLD OUT socially distanced shows at Ruth Eckerd Hall. Thank you Shawn Brown and Third Richardson for an inspiring week of music and friendship. And thank YOU for coming out and making this so much fun.

Auguat 26, 2020

Tampa Bay's Morning Blend

Thanks to my hometown girls at ABC Tampa Bay's Morning Blend for the fun interview and shoutout for my sold out week of shows here bringing music back to the Tampa Bay Area in a socially distanced safe way.

Auguat 25, 2020

The Craft Room

Mindi will not be doing her weekly Wine+Music session tonight, as she is making her way to her hometown of Clearwater, Florida for a series of small performances in front of live audiences - the first since March.

But you can get your Mindi fix this week by tuning in to SiriusXM Watercolors as she hosts "The Craft Room" at Noon (Eastern) / 9:00AM (Pacific) on Thursday, August 26.

And if you miss this airing, you can catch one of two encores:
Saturday, August 29, 4:00PM (Eastern) / 1:00PM (Pacific), or
Sunday, August 30, 6:00PM (Eastern) / 3:00PM (Pacific).

She will take over DJ responsibilities for the hour, sharing songs from some of her musical heroes and friends.

Mindi's Tuesday Wine+Music sessions return next week with guests Shawn Brown and Third Richardson.

Auguat 18, 2020

Sabrage!

Sabrage: the opening of a champagne bottle with a sword.

During this week's Wine+Music Session, Eric executed a sabrage.

Sabrage is a technique for opening a champagne bottle with a saber, used for ceremonial occasions. The wielder slides the saber along the body of the bottle to break the top of the neck away, leaving the neck of the bottle open and ready to pour.

Opening a bottle of champagne with a sabre is a time honored art and tradition, started by Cavalry Officers in Napoleon's army in the late 1700's.

This technique became popular in France when the army of Napoleon visited many of the aristocratic domains. It was just after the French Revolution and the sabre was the weapon of choice of Napoleon's light cavalry (the Hussars). Napoleon's spectacular victories across all Europe gave them plenty of reason to celebrate. During these parties the cavalry would open the Champagne with their sabres. Napoleon, known to have said, "Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it." may have encouraged this.

Despite Rick Braun taking cover on the porch, we'd say Eric was victorious with this one.

August 12, 2020

In Concert with Hope

We are excited to announce Hope Services will be holding our first ever Virtual Concert Fundraiser, "In Concert with Hope" featuring the sultry jazz sounds of two-time GRAMMY award nominated Mindi Abair and multi GRAMMY award nominated arranger, producer and pianist Shelly Berg from the comfort and safety of your own home.

In Concert with Hope is Hope Services' largest fundraiser of the year, benefiting our programs and services to more than 3,200 Bay Area individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities and mental health needs.

After assessing the state of the health crisis and re-entry into society, we have made a difficult but necessary decision to pivot to a virtual concert. The pandemic has only reinforced the gaps from state funding and identified the special demands of our clients and staff as we continue to provide services during shelter-in-place.

We know you won't want to miss these amazing performances and we need you now more than ever. After your ticket is purchased, we will provide you with a unique link and password so you may enjoy these great performances, donate and watch Hope's new and inspiring video about the clients you support through your donation.

To buy your tickets, visit In Concert with Hope.

August 4, 2020

Smooth Jazz Cruise Podcast

Eric Marienthal hosted Mindi on a remote interview. They discussed the Smooth Jazz Cruise on Land, scheduled for February 2021 at the Encore Resort in Las Vegas, along with other background of her career highlights.

Watch the full interview here...

July 31, 2020

Blues Blast Magazine Review

Sometimes it takes a while for albums to sink in ... I literally just found a new review ... it came out today ... for the album Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers "No Good Deed" that came out a little over a year ago on June 28, 2019! It's a great review by Blues Blast Magazine ... and I'll take the love ... all love is good ... I'm thankful for it and I'm so proud of this album.

The reviewer said something no one has ever said: "Thankfully, on her new album 'No Good Deed', Mindi brings her presence right to you - no backstage pass required. This scintillating series of ten original tracks will keep you fresh and energized for several hours, like caffeinated soap. Enjoy the rush while it lasts, then reapply!"

"Caffeinated soap" ... never thought of that! Right on.

BY RAINEY WETNIGHT, Blues Blast Magazine

Mindi Abair is the Carrie Underwood of contemporary electric blues rock. Not only could they almost be twins in terms of looks, but both are American Idol alumnae. A third similarity is in their vivacious musical style. One could sit down for a post-show cocktail with either one of these winsome women and never feel intimidated. They're the girls-next-door-turned-superstars you read about and see on TV, but never dream you'll meet face-to-face. Thankfully, on her new album 'No Good Deed', Mindi brings her presence right to you - no backstage pass required. This scintillating series of ten original tracks will keep you fresh and energized for several hours, like caffeinated soap. Enjoy the rush while it lasts, then reapply!

Mindi has been electrifying audiences with her live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 1999. In 2014, Mindi received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart. Not only that, but Abair has climbed the Billboard several times, earning two #1 spots on the Contemporary Jazz Album Chart and two #3 spots on the Blues Album Chart. In 2018, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers won 8 Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year and Best Blues Song fan award for the Independent Music Awards for "Pretty Good For A Girl" featuring Joe Bonamassa. In 2019, she was nominated by the Blues Music Awards as Best Instrumentalist: Horn and won the LA Critics Award for Best Holiday Album for All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues.

Performing alongside Abair (lead vox, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones) are the boisterous Boneshakers: Randy Jacobs on guitars; Rodney Lee on B3 organ, piano, and synthesizers; Third Richardson on drums, percussion, and wine glass, and Ben White on electric and ukulele bass. All of these gentlemen also provide background vocals. Additional musicians include Lee Thornberg on trumpet and trombone; Paulie Cerra on tenor sax, and Nick Lane on trombone.

Beginning things with an irresistible bounce is "Seven Day Fool,"" proving that even the worst household drudgery is worth the payoff come the weekend. Let me tell you: you've never heard a catchier recitation of the days of the week. Only Mindi could pull it off, and her sax solo is absolutely scrumptious. The title track, a shuffle worthy of dance floors worldwide, proves the old adage in a new way: "I'm working hard every Saturday night, and I know that my music makes the world all right. You know I bring it all home to you. Every bit of my heart is for a love so true. I've got blisters on my fingers, but I'll sleep when I'm dead. So what's this other woman doing in my bed?!" "Sweetest Lies" slows things down and heats things up all at once, featuring fabulous guitar from Randy Jacobs. "Good Day for the Blues" brings a Bo Diddley beat to the forefront, so peppy that your blues will fly right out the window. "Bad News" adds the sting of a razor blade to the proceedings, its grinding bassline cutting deep. Last but not least comes "Baby, Get It On," perfect for one's latest indoor jaunt or outdoor drag race. Lee Thornberg and Paulie Cerra let it rip on sax, their chemistry as powerful as the vocalists'.

No Good Deed: ten swings and no misses!

July 28, 2020

Wine+Music Session #17

Peter White joined Mindi once again on the porch of her Hollywood home for this 17th session.

Together they played Are You Mine?, True Blue, In My Life, Hey Jude, Save Tonight, Miss You, Who's That Lady?, California Dreamin', and Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland.

During the wine intermission, Eric introduced Peter to Nyetimber sparkling wine from Sussex. Peter, who was born and raised in England, was not aware that the country made sparkling wine.

July 22, 2020

Everyone Loves Guitar Saxophone!

At the suggestion of Mindi's "Bassist to the Stars", Derek Frank, she was contacted by Craig Garber of "Everyone Loves Guitar" and sat for a wide-ranging interview on their podcast.

July 18, 2020

Best of Show

Since Rick Braun was travelling to the East Coast, taking his son to the Naval Academy Prep School, he took a break from his weekly "Rick's Cafe Live".

In place of a live show from his living room, he assembled a "Best of Show", highlighting all the amazing talent who had performed with him over the past many weeks.

The video included performances by Dave Koz, Philippe Saisse, Peter White, Gregg Karukas, Kenny Lattimore, Eric Darius, and of course Mindi. Watch here as Mindi and her band play two songs to close out the show. Rick's daughter, Emma, provides the intro.

Watch the entire "Best of Show" here.

July 14, 2020

A Sparkling Shower

Peter White returned for Mindi's 15th Wine+Music Session, live from the porch of her Hollywood home.

Together, they played "Promenade", "Smile", "I'll Be Your Home", "Can't Get Enough", "Bloom", and "Dream Walk"

But the highlight of the evening came during the wine intermission when Eric opened a bottle of Sparkling English wine, as a tribute to Peter, and accidentally (?) showered Mindi.

July 8, 2020

A New Beginning

Mindi hasn't performed before a live crowd in months. So, what better way to re-launch her tour than in her hometown.

Ruth Eckerd Hall presents two-time GRAMMY® nominee Mindi Abair live in the Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Cabaret Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall. The series kicks-off on Thursday, August 27 at 8 pm and continues on Saturday, August 29 at 8 pm and Sunday, August 30 at 8 pm. Special guest Kyle Schroeder will open the shows.

"Audiences say they really miss live music and want to come if the environment feels safe, which is our top priority," said Susan Crockett, Ruth Eckerd Hall President & CEO. "Our guests for our first Cabaret series really enjoyed themselves and raved about the space. This time we're jazzing it up with another friend of Ruth Eckerd Hall, the amazingly talented Mindi Abair."

A table reservation is required. A table costs $120 which includes admission to the purchaser and up to three guests, a charcuterie tray and tableside service.

A limited amount of VIP tables will be available and priced at $240, which includes an up-front reserved table for four, a charcuterie tray, tableside service and a pre-show VIP experience that includes wine-tasting from Reserve Tastings Wine Company, Mindi Abair's exclusive wine-membership, as well as a meet & greet photo opportunity with Mindi Abair. Food and Beverages will be available for purchase exclusively via tableside service. Single or standing admission is not available; tables are separated by a minimum of 6 feet. Advance purchase is highly recommended due to limited capacity.

Handicap parking and drop off is available. Valet Parking is not available at this performance.

Safety Guidelines

So everyone can safely enjoy the show, the following safety protocols will be strictly enforced:

- Weapons are not permitted.
- Persons and bags are subject to screening.
- Our facility will be deeply sanitized before your arrival.
- Face masks are required. Venue staff will be wearing face masks; patrons are required to do the same. Face masks are available at the door upon request.
- Hand sanitizer stations are readily available. If you are in need of an attendant with cleaning supplies, please ask the wait staff.
- Table selection is on a first-come/first-served basis. We ask that you not change tables once you are seated.
- Tables must maintain a six foot distance.
- We encourage remaining at your table during the show. If you wish to stand, you will be asked to move behind the seated area and maintain social distancing.
- All food and beverage service will be table-side. There will be no walk-up service available.
- Wait staff will present bar tabs at the end of the evening or upon request.
- Please present your receipt to security on your departure.
- If you suspect you are ill or reside with someone who is ill with flu-like symptoms, we ask you to exchange for a future show.
- While we are committed to providing a clean and safe environment, it is impossible to eliminate all health risk in any location so please use discretion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a staff member.

We are here to serve you!

July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day

Mindi closed out her Tuesday Wine+Music Session with an appropriately beautiful rendition of "America The Beautiful".

Celebrate and enjoy!

July 3, 2020

2020 NAMM U Virtual Summit

Ideas, Strategies and Insights to Navigate the Next Phase of Your Business and Career

For all you music geeks out there ... I'll be on a panel for virtual @NAMM with my friends and killer musicians Leland Sklar and Russ Kunkel. Yes, you've heard them play on every record known to man that's cool. We'll discuss recording and playing together in this new world. Come by ... We're going live Thurs July 9th at 1pm PT at www.NAMM.org/virtual.

This free, four-day online education summit will feature a series of sessions tailored to you, delivering what you'll want to know as you explore success in the new "next". NAMM U Virtual will offer three unique tracks to appeal to everyone in the music products and sound industry: Business, Audio and Technology. Discover new ways to win, right from the comfort of your home or office.

July 1, 2020

Request a Personal Video from Mindi

Mindi has joined a host of other celebrities on the Cameo platform.

You can request her to produce a short personal message for you, a friend or relative.

Have someone in your life who is a Mindi fan? Send them a personal birthday message from her. The topic of the message is your call - anniversaries, holidays, graduations, or just to have her say "Thanks for being a fan" or "Glad you enjoyed my show in _______".

Be creative and surprise your friends.

What happens when I request a Cameo?

Your request will be completed within 7 days

Your receipt and order updates will be sent to the email provided under Delivery Information

When your request is completed, we'll email and text you a link to view, share, or download your Cameo

If for some reason your video isn't completed, the hold on your card will be removed within 5-7 business days

June 20, 2020

Rick's Cafe Live
Getting the Band Back Together

Rick Braun hosts a weekly YouTube live show from his living room, bringing in his friends as guest performers.

A few weeks ago, Mindi watched as Dave Koz played alongside Rick, and she longed to play in the same room with her own band.

Then came the call.

Rick invited Mindi to be his guest on this week's show. She and Eric drove from their home in Alameda to Rick's home in Los Angeles and enlisted most of her band.

The results were magical.

Watch the entire show here...

June 12, 2020

JAZZIZ: Last Call

JAZZIZ Magazine's Brian Zimmerman conducted a wide-ranging interview with Mindi and Eric (remotely, of course).

Watch the entire interview here...

June 9 2020

Bringing It All Back Home

From Audio-Technica

For more than 20 years, saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair has been a musical force to be reckoned with, producing hit records, garnering awards, and thrilling live audiences the world over with her unique blend of pop, jazz, rock, and blues. Whether playing her own music, working with artists like Aerosmith, the Backstreet Boys, and Duran Duran, or performing as the featured saxophonist on "American Idol," Abair's career has always been one of exploring new terrain and musical ideas, while remaining true to herself.

The latest wrinkle in that career came when the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the recording of her new album, forcing her to regroup at home to finish the project. We sat down with Abair recently (remotely, of course) to talk about her career, the technical and artistic challenges (and rewards) of working from home, and what might be in store for the future.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your style of music?

I play saxophone and sing and I'm a songwriter. I've led my own band basically my whole life. My musical style early on in my career was more pop with a contemporary jazz sound. From the last few records we moved into blues and rock. I was moonlighting with Aerosmith and playing on "American Idol," and I came away from that whole experience - my summer vacation with Aerosmith - and just thought, now it's time to go back to the rock 'n' roll and blues that I grew up with. So my last four or five records have been pretty rootsy and organic - just a lot of mojo, a lot of energy.

My musical style ranges anywhere from blues to rock 'n' roll to soul to a little bit of pop and jazz. Each record has its own statement, its own personality. It's kind of a snapshot of where I'm at at the time. The one I'm working on right now is definitely a snapshot of where I'm at now. Live, we're a super high-energy band. Its' a blast. We're definitely not your father's jazz musicians that stand in the corner and play. I learned how to be onstage watching Tina Turner and Aerosmith and Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen. So we definitely come from the more rock 'n' roll camp of how to put on a live show. Now, we haven't gotten to do that in a while and it doesn't look like it's going to happen anytime soon, but once we go back, it'll be that. We'll rock your world!

Who initially inspired you to start playing the saxophone?

My father, Lance Abair, played saxophone and B3 organ, and I grew up on the road with his band the Entertainers. From the time I was born, they put me in the band truck and we travelled with the band until they broke up, when I was almost five. It was a cool way to grow up and be around music 24/7. When we did get off the road my grandmother, who was an opera signer, would come over and sing arias - she was just that big, stereotypical opera singer - and my father started putting together rock bands ... I just had every style of music around me all the time. I was lucky enough to have school band, and my band instructor said, Hey, we're gonna put down a bunch of instruments on the floor and you can choose what you want and we'll learn how to play it. Well, my dad looked like he was having a blast up on stage every night playing saxophone. He was that rock 'n' roller, shaking and shimmying, knocking your knees together, walking the bar kind of sax player. And I just thought, Wow, that looks so fun - and I was right! And I never looked back.

When did you start to sing as well?

I was always a singer and took every music class they would allow me to take in school. Once I got to Berklee College of Music there were a bunch of singing classes and singing possibilities for ensembles. But I stayed away from it because there was this kind of stigma with the vocalists that maybe they weren't as musically cool, weren't as schooled in the musical side. There was this disrespect to the "girl singer," and I didn't like that. I said, Oh no no, you're going to respect me: I play saxophone, I write music, I arrange music. So I didn't really do too much in college as a vocalist. I really wanted to establish myself as a saxophonist, as an instrumentalist.

It wasn't until I moved to L.A. and started to get established there. I think it was hard for me to put together how to be a woman and be in this industry. I was wearing men's suits for a while just trying to be one of the guys. But then there was some flash-pot moment where I was like, What am I doing? I'm going to wear clothes I like, I'm going to wear makeup, and I'm going to sing - and it's going to be awesome! That's really the time I started having success, because I figured out I could just be myself - imagine that - and it was all right.

Let's talk about the new record you're working on. You started recording it in the studio, but then, like many of us, had to pivot to working at home. What has that process been like?

Yeah, what a crazy thing to have happen. We had our studio session for the new record booked at the beginning of March. We knew the COVID-19 virus was out there - we were all elbow bumping good-naturedly - but we didn't know what it would turn into. So we were in the studio recording a record - it's the most joyous event on the planet to make new music with your friends. I had Abe Laborial Jr. in there playing drums, and Sean Hurley playing bass, and Jim Pierce playing guitar, and my keyboardist Rodney Lee playing keys. It was awesome to make music with these guys. We recorded 90 percent of a record. I had just had a cold the week before, so I was singing scratch vocals. I figured we'd come back in a few days and I'd record the rest of my vocals when my voice came back. Cut to a couple days later and the whole world's shut down. California went into shelter-in-place. So I just went home and said, OK, it's time to figure this out at home.

I've said it forever that I should have a setup at home. People ask me to play on their records, people ask me to record a track for them, and I'd go into a studio and do it. I'd always go into the Village in Los Angeles, take a room for a couple hours, and record someone's record. But if I could have something at home, that would be amazing. I have an Audio-Technica AT4060 microphone that I have used for more than half of my records - for everything, vocals and saxophone. It's been my mic my entire career. And it was sitting there not being used. So I was like, That's it - it's going up! I put that up, I got an interface for my computer, I ordered Pro Tools, and I just started immersing, and calling my friends and saying, What am I doing wrong? And I did it, you know? I think being in the studio with your friends and an engineer you trust, you got all this surrounding comfort of love and people who know what they're doing. That is awesome. But the idea that you can do it at home, that is amazing to me. It wasn't as much fun to sit there in my closet and record because you just don't have all that love around you and people helping you out. But, wow, what an amazing thing that I'm making this record, the world shuts down, and I can still finish it. I've been sending my finished vocals to my engineer, Niko Bolas, and Niko was like, This mic sounds great, the tracks sound great. This is your first engineering credit, it's gonna sound great! What a nice thing to hear, you know? Audio-Technica, once again, makes me look great!

This new record is titled "Mindi Abair - Forever." What is the concept behind the album, and when can fans expect to hear it?

My last four records have been as Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers. I joined forces with the Boneshakers for the last couple of years and went on the road and it was just this super high-energy, in-your-face blues/rock band. It was a blast! I loved every second. The idea for this record is to go back to me - just me - not a band. What would I have to say? There's a bunch of songs I couldn't do when I was with Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers. I would write these songs, but I knew they weren't right for those records. They were too touchy-feely or too personal.

So I've had this backlog of songs, and this record is really all about taking my strengths from before, which are melody and something that's accessible, a hooky melody, and just having fun with that and bringing it into a more organic space. The record is rootsy. It brings together that mojo of rock 'n' roll and blues, and it's been fun bringing those pieces of me together for a solo record. That's why I called it "Mindi Abair - Forever." It's all the pieces of me coming forward to hopefully be a career record.

I don't have a release date yet. I initially planned to release it this summer, but then our tour dates started to get canceled, so I thought maybe in the fall? We're kind of watching the news to see what happens. It could be fall, it could be early 2021. But it will be done in no time. The vocals are done, so we'll be mixing it soon.

What is your go-to audio equipment when recording vocals?

I've got my MacBook Pro, I'm running Pro Tools on it, and using the Apogee Duet as an interface. And I'm using your cool M50x headphones - the red ones. I'm a girl, the style makes all the difference! And of course, the AT4060 microphone. But that's the extent of my gear. I'm looking at this as I have the possibility to record myself at home now. I can still rely on great engineers to go in and compress it and edit it, put a nice reverb on it. I'm not there yet. But I can get it down and it can be clean and it can be a great sound. Hopefully I'll build slowly but surely into some outboard gear, into some more plugins that are cool. But for now it's pretty stripped-down. This is the starter kit for recording. Start with the best, right? A great microphone: that will do a lot.

You say you're recording in a closet. What kind of space are we talking about?

I'm recording in a walk-in closet. It's literally the only closet in our bedroom, so I've taken up most of it. I've got little KRK speakers set up in there along with the rest of my scenario, with my laptop and the microphone, and I just kind of move it around at will. And I hung up a big blanket over the doors of the closet so everything is kind of soft in there and soaks up the sound. It sounds pretty good. Definitely there's no room to it, there's no kickback of any kind. It's just super dry in there. There's no natural reverb, whereas, if I were in our living room - it has a lot of ambience. It's got high ceilings and everything. But I didn't want that. I really wanted to have it in a controlled space. It was going to be the sound that it was, and I would send it to my engineer and he could put it in the song and make it sound like it should.

My next foray is to record saxophone in there for my friend Slim's album. He's the guitarist in Lady Antebellum, and he's doing his solo record. So now that I've gotten all cocky doing vocals for my record, this is how I'm staying engaged and sane during the pandemic - I'm about to go in and record sax.

You've performed for audiences around the world. Do you have a favorite concert or venue that sticks out?

One of my favorite places to perform, which is walking distance from my house in Hollywood, is the Hollywood Bowl. We've performed there a number of times, and we were scheduled for August 30, but I just got the email that their entire season has been canceled. And, you know, you just hang your head. It's just magic to play there. It's this magical place where, you know, fairies fly around as you play and people drink wine ... It's just the perfect scenario. And we've had a few places like that on our schedule this year. I love playing at home. I'm from St. Petersburg, Florida, and we were supposed to play the park that I grew up going to, Vinoy Park, for the Tampa Bay Blues Festival. It was going to be 10,000 to 15,000 people out there just going nuts, having fun, in my hometown. And that had to go away. It's been a drag to have some of these concerts in places where we love to play go away.

One of our last shows was in Seattle. We always do a residency there for Valentine's week. We did four nights there and it was just packed. The people there were great - what a great audience. And a few weeks after I left, on this extreme high, they started shutting down and had a bunch of problems. And I thought, We were just there, oh no! You really do build relationships with not only the people who come to see you, but the people who run the clubs and the theaters and the venues that you play. It's all such a family, so we'll all kind of be dealing with it together, mourning the loss of what we do for a living and this connection that we have.

So now my favorite venue is my living room, and I put on a concert here every Tuesday night. We Facebook Live at 5 p.m. Pacific time every Tuesday. And it's great for me because I remember that this is what I do for a living. Well, maybe not for a living right now, but ... This is what I do: play for people and sing for people. And that's filled in the gap of connecting with my friends and family and fans. That's been a nice thing to do every week for me. Sanity!

If you could work with any artist in the world, who would it be?

I've been really lucky to work with some amazing people. I had the chance to play with Bruce Springsteen for a night right after Clarence Clemons passed away. It was just - wow. I couldn't even have been cocky enough to put that on my bucket list, but it happened! And touring with Aerosmith was an amazing thing that happened. But there are people that I would love to collaborate with. Bonnie Raitt is one of my favorite artists. In our little concert this week I played "Angel from Montgomery," the John Prine song that she did. I would love to do anything with Bonnie Raitt. And the Stones. I don't think the Stones are going to stop playing, you know? And they're obviously saxophone friendly. They always had Bobby Keys in their band, and now they have other people, but that would be a blast of a band to play with. So those are a few that come to the top of my mind.

We'll be sure to share links to your website and social media channels so fans can learn more about the upcoming album, tours, and other news, but is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

We have a wine company. It's a wine and music company. That's at reservetastings.com. My husband finds cool wine and I create the artwork that's music-centric, then I put together a playlist of music that pairs perfectly with a particular wine. We have a membership and ship out wine four times a year. So that's been kind of fun and has continued. We got enough wine to drink during the pandemic, which is great!

You're also an author.

Yeah, I wrote a book called "How To Play Madison Square Garden." It's a guide to stage performance. It's not "how to make it in the music business," it's not "how to play your instrument," it's none of that. But I realized: I have a degree from Berklee College of Music, which I consider to the best contemporary music school in the world, but the one thing they didn't mention, really, was how to build your audience or how to build a connection with any audience, and how to think about your live performance. Most of the people that I know that make a living doing music, make a living playing live. It has turned into that for artists. You're not making a living selling CDs, you're making a living with your live dates. So why not learn how to connect with an audience? If you want them to pick up a ticket next time, learn how to be a better performer, learn how to be true to yourself and create a show that's really you, instead of thinking, Well, I saw this person do that so I'm supposed to do that. You know, learn how to deal with your stage fright.

So I wrote the book because that's what I've done my whole life. I started playing on the street, and I started playing with different artists, from Teena Marie to the Backstreet Boys to Adam Sandler to Aerosmith, Duran Duran, and with all these people I learned something different. And I made every mistake, that's for sure. I've seen every mistake made. But I've also seen so many right things happen. I've seen when things work, and you're just - whoa! So I started writing it down and figured, you know what, maybe I can save someone a couple of years of making the same mistakes I've seen made or I've made, and just put it down in writing, because it can be learned. It's not some magical innate thing like, well, they've got that "it" factor, I could never have that. You can have that. You can totally learn that. So I've loved getting the book out there, and I go out every once in a while to do master classes or clinics for colleges and different bands, and it's really fun.

To stay engaged with Mindi Abair and her music, including her weekly Facebook Live home concerts, check out the links below.

www.mindiabair.com

www.facebook.com/mindiabair

www.instagram.com/mindiabair

www.twitter.com/mindiabair

www.youtube.com/officialmindiabair

June 4 2020

TBT: Mindi and Bobby Lyle

On Tuesday's Wine+Music Session Mindi brought out her soprano sax - which she hasn't toured with in many years. She had to abandon it when the airlines began not allowing her to carry on more than one instrument.

The soprano was a regular fixture in her early days, including during live tours with Bobby Lyle. It was Lyle who first spotted her playing on the streets of Santa Monica and hired her.

Here is a video of "Arabian Nights", featuring Mindi on soprano sax during a live concert with Bobby.

June 2, 2020

The Show Must Be Paused

#THESHOWMUSTBEPAUSED

May 27, 2020

Today is for Wild Hearts

WILD HEART was Mindi's seventh full-length solo studio album. Released on this day six years ago (May 27, 2014), Wild Heart marked her fourth release on Concord Records imprint, Heads Up International. The album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart, staying there for two weeks.

The album received a 2015 Grammy nomination in the Contemporary Instrumental Album category, Mindi's second Grammy nomination.

WILD HEART was recorded in late 2013 and early 2014 at several studios including Manifest Music in Santa Monica, CA, Elevated Basement Studio in Savannah, GA, Morrisound in Tampa, FL and Skip Saylor Studios in Northridge, CA. The album features several guest musicians, including Max Weinberg, Gregg Allman, Booker T. Jones, Keb' Mo', Joe Perry and Trombone Shorty.

WILD HEART saw Mindi stepping away from her traditional smooth jazz style, for a more rock n roll influenced sound.

Critics often commented on the different sound of the album:

James Woods of AXS said "WILD HEART's roots actually go back to when Abair found herself 'moonlighting' - performing a lot of rock and roll, blues and organic music. So it should come as no surprise that sharing the stage with the likes of Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Duran Duran would eventually be absorbed into her musical psyche. And it was those experiences that inspired Abair to want to capture the mojo she's been holding in for so long."

Thom Jurek of All Music called the record "a much rowdier, grimier fashion."

Jazz Weekly said "Abair's sax growls, grunts and grinds like it's a smoky joint in Lafayette, Louisiana, with more gristle than a T-Bone steak at The Pantry."

And All Music said of the album; "Though it pays unapologetic tribute to retro inspirations, it does so with 21st century sophistication, a gritty, raucous spirit, and exceptional creative imagination."

TRACKS

1. Amazing Game (featuring Trombone Shorty, co-written with Jim Peterik)
2. I Can't Lose
3. Wild Heart
4. Haute Sauce
5. Train (co-written with Jim Peterik)
6. Game On (featuring Joe Perry)
7. I'll Be Your Home (featuring Keb' Mo')
8. The Shakedown (featuring Max Weinberg and Waddy Wachtel)
9. Kiddo's Revenge
10. Addicted to You (featuring Booker T. Jones)
11. Just Say When (featuring Gregg Allman)

PERFORMERS

Mindi - vocals, alto tenor and baritone saxophone, hand claps
Adam Berg - piano, organ, tambourine, synthesizers, hand claps
Lance Abair - organ
Dave Yaden - piano
Booker T. Jones - hammond b3
Gregg Allmann - hammond b3, vocals, guitar
Itai Shapira - guitar, bass, tambourine, hand claps
Dave Burris - guitar
Joe Perry - guitar
Waddy Watchel - guitar
Kevin Scott - bass
Elizabeth Lea - trombone
Trombone Shorty - trombone
Todd Simon - trumpet
Dave Colie - drums
Jake Najor - drums
James Gadson - drums
Max Weinberg - drums
Bud Harner - crash cymbal
Jim Peterik - percussion

May 24, 2020

World Saxophone Collaboration

Mindi participated (remotely from her living room) in the "World Saxophone Collaboration 2020", sponsored by sax.co.uk, who tell us ...

We've had an absolute blast putting this together and hopefully bringing you something uplifting during this difficult time. We want to extend a HUGE thank you to all the artists involved in offering their wonderful contributions to this collab project.

All profits from this video will be donated to helpmusicians.org.uk.

The track was composed by Oli Howe, mixed by Jim Cheek and mastered by George Platt.

The performers (in order of appearance):

Marcus Porter, Dean Mongerio, Nik Carter, Simon Willescroft, Gerald Albright, Snake Davis, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Derek Brown, Jim Cheek, Derek Nash, Tom Scott, Jody Espina, Mornington Lockett, George Shelby, Jeff Coffin, Jay Metcalf, Yosuke Sato, Tia Fuller, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jeff Kashiwa and Mindi.

Mindi's segment begins at 10:58.

May 23 2020

A Pandemic Birthday

Thanks to my husband Eric for making my pandemic birthday perfect with Mumm Napa 2013 DVX Rosé and a killer ring from my fav jewelry designer and friend Shannon Koszyk -life is good.

May 18, 2020

A Decade of Funk

Ten years ago today (5/18/2010), Mindi released 'In H-Fi Stereo' to much critical acclaim, including this review from the Voice of America.

Mindi Abair Explores R&B 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'

Saxophonist Mindi Abair has taken a temporary break from her usual "smooth jazz" regimen to explore the golden age of R&B on her new CD, 'In Hi-Fi Stereo'. The album is funkier and more soulful than anything Mindi has ever recorded.

Remember spinning records on an old hi-fi stereo and watching the needle sway back and forth in the grooves of the vinyl? Or, reading the liner notes printed on the back of album jackets while drum beats vibrated through the speaker's wiry mesh covers. Those long ago but not forgotten moments were the inspiration for Mindi Abair's quest to capture the glory days of funk and soul.

Born in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mindi inherited her musical skills from her father, a saxophonist and keyboard player in a '70s R&B band. "Between watching my father onstage and spending time with my grandmother who was an opera singer, music was always around me," she says.

Mindi first learned to play piano at age five, but switched to alto sax a few years later. Mindi's success in her high school marching band led to more serious training at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she earned a degree in woodwind performance.

Mindi relocated to Southern California and became a fixture on tours with Duran Duran, The Backstreet Boys and Mandy Moore. Her move into jazz came in 2003 with her first major label solo release, "It Just Happens That Way."

For In Hi-Fi Stereo, Mindi admits that listening to the music of soul icons James Brown, Al Green, Junior Walker, and Archie Bell and The Drells gave her the idea to add funk and soul to her signature pop-jazz style. The outcome, she says, "is a fun, feel-good record inspired by some of those great sounds and grooves from that period."

Mindi composed all but two of the songs on the album, including a tune she describes as "a mix of old Motown and classic Ramsey Lewis", "All Star."

The album, released on Heads Up International (A division of Concord Records) included the following tracks ...

Any Way You Wanna
All Star
L'Esprit Nouveau
Get Right
Be Beautiful
Down for the Count
Girls' Night Out
Let the Whole World Know (Sing Your Song)
It's a Man's Man's World
Take Me Home
The Alley

Joining Mindi on the record were ...

James E. Gadson: drums
Reggie McBride: bass and upright bass
Randy Jacobs: electric guitar and acoustic guitar
Stephen "Stevo" Theard: keyboards
Rex Rideout: Wurlitzer, keyboards and piano
Cassandra O'Neal: Hammond B-3
Lee Thornberg: trumpet and trombone
Dave Woodford: tenor and baritone saxophones
Bud Harner: ride cymbal
Ryan Collins: lead and background vocals
David Ryan Harris: guitar and vocals
Michael White: drums
Smitty Smith: bass
Dewayne Swan: Hammond B-3
Jamey Tate: drums
Jay Gore: electric guitar
Rodney Lee: Wurlitzer and Hammond B-3
Jessi Collins: background vocals
Lalah Hathaway: lead and background vocals
Phil Parlapiano: Rhodes, Arp keyboard and organ
And Dad, Lance Abair: Hammond B-3

May 16, 2020

We're not sure whether this belongs in the category of "How to deal with Shelter-in-Place" or "Don't Try This at Home".

May 15, 2020

Literature on-Line with Mindi

LIVE Storytime!

Join us for "Literature on-Line" a new initiative from our education department keeping us connected to our schools and students. Every story is specially selected offering ties to curriculum, a heart-warming message, and lots of laughs! Enjoy!

Watch Mindi read "Where The Wild Things Are"...

You can see the entire series here including Dave Koz reading "Grumpy Monkey".

May 8, 2020

In Studio With Greg Manning

Like Mindi, Greg Manning hosts a weekly show from his living room. This week's (virtual) guest was Mindi. Watch her portion of Greg's how here...

May 6, 2020

May The Stars Be With You

While May the Fourth (5/4) is generally recognized as "Star Wars Day" (with apologies to Dave Brubeck), today we celebrate "Stars Day".

Because it was on this day, twelve years ago, that Mindi released her "Stars" album.

The album peaked at Number 4 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart with her single "Smile" reaching No. 1 on the R&R jazz airplay charts. Simultaneously, the single "Stars" (co-written and produced by Matthew Hager) charted at Number 29 Adult Contemporary R&R.

Several of the songs have appeared on Mindi's weekly Wine+Music Sessions. The full track list included...

Smile
On And On
Out Of The Blue
Stars
F.L.A. Swing
I Wonder
Gingerbread Man
Change
Mojo
Here For You
Gonna Be Alright

Back in 2008, Jonathan Widran, writing for AllMusic, included some interesting references. Mindi's college friends Abraham Laboriel, Jr (who went on to play in Paul McCartney's band) and Matthew Hager return for the soon-to-be-released "Forever" album. And Jonathan mentioned "the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s".

On one of 2008's most popular and dynamic urban contemporary jazz releases, the popular saxophonist made certain to live up to the lofty title of her previous outing, Life Less Ordinary. Aiming for those Stars, she expanded on the vocalizing she did on her earlier outings and wrote a batch of infectious songs that showcased her attractive vocals like never before. Five tracks -- nearly half the disc -- are adult contemporary pop songs that fit comfortably on the charts alongside John Mayer, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Sara Bareilles. It may have seemed risky to push the envelope after scoring a number one album, but her instrumental hits always showed that she was a popster at heart. Helping Abair and her guitarist/producer Matthew Hager realize her creative "outside the box" approach is a choice group of stalwarts from the pop world: keyboardist Ricky Peterson, drummer Abe Laboriel, Jr., and Richard Dodd, cello player for the Foo Fighters. With the media so immersed in reflecting the ongoing despair and difficulties of life around the globe in the 2000s, Abair's ultimate goal with her five vocal tracks is to bring light to the darkness, an unapologetic, optimistic sense of hope and idealism. Case in point: the lilting folk-pop tune "Change," written with frequent collaborator Tyrone Stevens, says that change is the one thing we can count on, and also the concept that can bring us all together. On the power pop title track ballad, she looks to the "Stars" as a connective thread between lovers who are far apart in physical distance. The Elton John/Lionel Richie-influenced "On and On" reflects wistfully on the innocence of her small-town youth (in St. Petersburg, FL) and the way music has become an integral spiritual part of so many people's lives. Her heartfelt, keyboard-driven anthem "I Wonder" is her generation's twist on the concept of "Imagine," while "Here for You" is an uplifting, autobiographical old-school soul-blues ballad that chronicles her incredible years-long friendship with Hager. These are smartly balanced by instrumentals that range from light and jangling ("Smile") to edgy, bluesy, and funky ("F.L.A. Swing").

April 23, 2020

She Rocks Spotlight Series Features Mindi

The Women's International Music Network (The WiMN) has announced the debut of the She Rocks Spotlight Series. This innovative new live stream series spotlights a diverse collection of artists - from up-and-comers to chart-topping sensations - while supporting the artist community.

Each episode will open with two rising artists curated by the WiMN, followed by an iconic veteran performer. Viewers are encouraged to donate via thewimn.com/donate-2 on behalf of the performers in order to help support the artist community. Funds collected will aid the performers and the Musicares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Episodes will be live streamed on multiple platforms including Parade's Facebook page and website, plus The Women's International Music Network Facebook and YouTube pages every Thursday at 8:00PM Eastern/5:00PM Pacific.

The show is hosted by Laura B. Whitmore, founder of the Women's International Music Network and the She Rocks Awards. She told us,

"Showcasing extraordinary female talent has always been one of the WiMN's goals - from the She Rocks Podcast, to our She Rocks showcases, and of course our flagship She Rocks Awards. With this new live stream series, we seek to expose and support musicians during these challenging times."

Watch Mindi's portion of this week's session...

April 16, 2020

In Concert For Cancer - The Complete Show

Looking for more entertainment in these times of shelter in place? The In Concert For Cancer organization released the entire video of Mindi's show last fall. Professionally shot with multiple cameras, this is one not to be missed.

Enjoy our 2019 full-length annual concert featuring Grammy nominated saxophonist and singer Mindi Abair with rockin' blues band, The Boneshakers lead by Randy Jacobs. Special guests include legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, drummer Danny Seraphine (Co-founder of Chicago) and guitarist Roger Fisher (Co-founder of Heart) along with singer Tony Grant.

Now in its 9th year, In Concert for Cancer (ICFC) is an annual multi-city concert benefit featuring acclaimed touring musicians. Our concerts unite and inspire cancer fighters, survivors, caregivers and communities. We share the uplifting power of live music performances while raising awareness and funding for groundbreaking immunotherapy cancer treatment, research and cancer patient programs. Join Us! InConcertforCancer.org

April 14, 2020

World Premiere Video: Seven Day Fool

We made one very special video moment together!

I asked what you were doing at home during shelter-in-place ... and this is what you sent to me ... you sharing what you do 7 days a week.

Thank you for all the video contributions and the joy, fun, hope, and love that you've shared. We're all in this together.

How many MindiWorld and band members can you identify in this video?

March 21, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Concert Postponements

Due to concerns for the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), all of Mindi's scheduled performances through June, 2020 have been postponed. Check the Tour scedule for reschedule dates.

March 2, 2020

Mindi Hosts Her Home Town

The wine flowed and the music rocked as Mindi hosted her hometown for two nights and four shows at the Blue Note Napa.

Joining Mindi and the band on stage were new guitarist Claudio Tristano and special surprise guest, her longtime friend David Pack (Ambrosia, "Eye of the Tiger").

Prior to the shows, Mindi and Eric conducted tastings for their Reserve Tastings Wine Company - and signed up many new members.

February 25, 2020

It's Just Been Happening That Way - For 17 Years

Seventeen years ago today, Mindi released her first record produced by a major label.

GRP (a division of Verve Records) had signed Mindi and released "It Just Happens That Way". The album was recorded in August 2002 at Castle Oaks Studios, Calabasas, California.

Several original songs from the record have stood the test of time. "Lucy's" (Mindi's first big hit) and "Flirt" continue to be highlights of her live shows - at both Contemporary Jazz and Blues venues.

In addition to some top-notch studio musicians, the album also included guest artists Marc Antoine (guitar), Jeff Golub (guitar), Dwight Sills (guitar), John Taylor (vocals) and Peter White (accordion). Mindi's long-time friend Matthew Hager co-wrote most of the songs with her, and also performs on the album.

February 24, 2020

Panel Sessions Interviews Mindi

For anyone looking for inspiring music education, look to @PanelSessions - They interview musicians, artists & business people to inspire and instruct the next generation. I've learned so much & they're so fun to watch! Here's my interview ...

February 22, 2020

Driving with Mindi + Eric

As Mindi and Eric drive through Napa Valley, they talk about the Reserve Tastings February shipment which just went out and includes the Petite Sirah, Vive Le Rock, that Holly Howell reviewed in the latest MindiWorld newsletter.

Mindi talks about her just-announced Wine+Music Adventure in Tuscany - and about the wine tastings that accompany most of her US-based shows.

The couple then provides a sneak peek of the next Reserve Tastings release, including a first look at the hot-off-the-press labels.

February 21, 2020

Visit Tuscany with Mindi

Over the past several years, our MindiWorld family has witnessed the synergy resulting from the union of Mindi's music world and Eric's wine world.

First came the Mindi Abair Punta Gorda Wine + Music Festival - now entering its third year.

Then it was the Reserve Tastings Wine Company - a subscription wine club pairing the finest wines and music.

Now, perhaps, the most exciting of all ...

This first adventure begins November 1, 2020 in the heart of Siena, Tuscany. Enjoy the amenities of your 5-star hotel, as you experience 5 days in Montalcino, Montepulciano and Chianti. This will be a small exclusive group, and you'll enjoy private winery tastings, fine Italian cuisine, nightly shows with Mindi & friends, cult-Italian wines, bubbles, cheese tastings and more, all hosted by Mindi and her husband Eric.

To learn more, visit reservetastings.com/adventures.

To reserve your spot, visit tastevacations.com/booking-mindi-abair/.

And just for you, a MindiWorld discount of $100 off the Adventure cost for each person. Use the code WINEANDMUSIC when you register. But hurry, seats are very limited and will sell quickly.

"Unisciti a me in Toscana, Italia 1-5 novembre 2020 Per un'avventura di lusso con cibo, vino e musica come nessun altro al mondo!" - Mindi

February 14, 2020

We Heart Mindi

... And apparently so do the promoters of the Seabreeze Jazz Fest.

To celebrate her much-anticipated return and recognize her other friends who will be performing, the promoters decided to make them all into candy hearts.

Happy Valentine's Day!

February 12, 2020

She Rocks Podcast Episode 1: Saxophonist, Singer/Songwriter Mindi Abair

Join us for the inaugural episode of the She Rocks Podcast as WiMN founder Laura B. Whitmore sits down with GRAMMY-nominated saxophone player and singer/songwriter Mindi Abair!

Mindi has played with a slew of greats and commands audiences around the world as she tours with her band, The Boneshakers. She's transitioned from straight on jazz to blues, and has impressive vocal and songwriting chops, too. Here we talk about what's next for Mindi and much more.

Mindi tells us, "I'm so proud to be the very first podcast for The Women's International Music Network. My friend and superwoman Laura B Whitmore interviewed me at the NAMM Show this year about womanhood, creativity and the drive to create new music, what to wear, being comfortable in your own skin, musical journeys and so much more. "

February 10, 2020

Mindi returns to the Berks Jazz Fest

Mindi Abair: 30th Anniversary Artist Preview Series from Andrew Lepley on Vimeo.

January 8, 2020

Mindi nominated for 2020 Blues Music Award

An impressive assembly of blues music masters, ranging from Blues Hall of Famers to rising stars, will gather in Memphis on Thursday May 7, for the 41st annual Blues Music Awards. Presented by The Blues Foundation, the BMAs honor the past year's exceptional achievements in blues music recording, performance, and songwriting, as well as supporting the blues' rich cultural traditions. This celebratory evening, recognized internationally as the blues world's premier event, not only attracts nearly all the nominees, but also presents them in performance.

Mindi has been nominated in the category "Best Instrumentalist Horn" along with Jimmy Carpenter, Vanessa Collier, Trombone Shorty and Nancy Wright.

The event takes place at Memphis' Cannon Center for the Performing Arts (255 North Main Street), where a Blue Carpet will lead to the theater. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with the ceremony commencing at 6:30 p.m. sharp. Tickets range from individual seats for $80 to full boxes of 10 for $2,500 per box, with most seats being at a $150 per person price point. All tickets (unless otherwise noted) include admission to the post-show After Party, which will feature additional live performances by nominees, buffet dinner, cash bars, and more festivities. The After Party takes place in the newly renovated Grand Lobby of the Renasant Convention Center, which is attached to the Cannon Center via an indoor walkway.