A talented musician on the keyboard and the flute, Mindi Abair has well laid history in Top 40 music, but she is probably better known for her ability to make a saxophone come alive with smooth jazz melodies. She is a talented singer with a smoky voice that lends itself readily to jazz and has been a featured talent on a number of albums produced by friends and other musicians.
Born in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1969, Mindi was surrounded by music growing up. Her father is a talented saxophonist and keyboard musician while her grandmother sang in the opera as a soprano. Mindi was involved in music throughout grade school and while in high school, led the marching band in her junior and senior years.
After high school, she attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, the nation's largest independent college of contemporary music. Berklee is well-known for graduating musical talents in the world of jazz, rock and other contemporary music styles including hip-hop and reggae.
Upon graduating in 1991 from Berklee, Mindi moved to Los Angeles where she began playing in area clubs and hotels. While singing and playing in Santa Monica, she attracted the attention of keyboardist Bobby Lyle and was invited by him to play on his "Power of Touch" album and join his tour. Mindi has also contributed her unique ability as a saxophonist and singer to well-known musicians like John Tesh, Jonathan Butler, Teena Marie, Duran Duran and Rick Braun. She was a featured performer on Adam Sandler's platinum-selling CD "What's Your Name?" and appeared with him on his 1996 HBO special.
A rising star in the pop music world, Mindi was invited to join the Backstreet Boys on their 1999 Millennium World Tour. While with the tour, she was the saxophonist and percussionist and also played the keyboard. In between tours and appearances with other musicians, she released her first independently produced solo pop music album entitled "Always and Never the Same."
In 2003, Mindi Abair made the switch from pop music to contemporary jazz and was signed to a contract with Verve Records. Her first album on Verve, also released in 2003, was called "It Happens Just that Way" and went to seventh position on the Billboard Magazine Contemporary Jazz Chart. The album remained in the top 10 selling jazz albums for 19 weeks and Billboard declared it one of the best top 10 contemporary jazz albums released that year.
Successive albums, "Come as You Are" debuted in 2004 and went to #9 on the jazz charts while her 2006 release, "Life Less Ordinary" went to #2 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. The album stayed in the top 10 for 24 out of 45 consecutive weeks on the chart.
Mindi's latest album "Hi-Fi-Stereo" was released in 2010 and was produced by Grammy nominated singer and songwriter Rex Rideout.
More recently in 2011, Mindi Abair appeared as a soloist with Paul McDonald and Casey Abrams on the American Idol television show and played in the background to other show contestants.
In between albums, Mindi Abair tours the United States and the world with her jazz band. She is married to guitarist Jason Steele and lives in Los Angeles.