By Pat Prescott

This Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, the Summer Concert Series continues with a long time favorite, saxophonist Mindi Abair who is joined this time around by The Boneshakers, one of the funkiest soul-rock-blues-jazz bands you’ve ever seen and heard. Mindi stopped by the studios to talk about the show this weekend, a very exciting year of touring, being a Bonus Mom and a whole lot more.

Mindi gets recognized everywhere she goes with her distinctive two tone hair, her cool designer clothes and her funky jewelry, a lot of which she designs herself. You’ll know it’s Mindi when she hits the stage this Friday night at the Hyatt. In case you don’t recognize the group on stage with her, it’s the Boneshakers. A match made in heaven for lovers of blues, jazz, rock and funk. They put it all together like nobody’s business. Mindi told us all about hooking up with Randy Jacobs, Sweet Pea Atkinson and the guys, and how Bonnie Raitt gave them their very cool name.

Soul and Blues singer Sweet Pea Atkinson is a national treasure and the heart and soul of the Boneshakers. Mindi says his soulful, raspy energy attracts audiences of all ages. Mindi’s own history has a lot to do with her attraction to this band. Her Dad had a blue eyed soul band back in the day and then moved on to rock so Mindi grew up listening to it all.

In the last few years, Mindi has been living her dream, playing with some of the best bands in the world including Aerosmith and the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. She also played for two years on American Idol where she caught the attention of Stephen Tyler. She used some of those experiences and the contacts she made to make her own “Wild Heart” project.

There’s a new freedom in everything Mindi does these days. She says some of it comes from working with Aerosmith and playing at a high level with lots of energy and total abandon. It all extends to her family life with her boyfriend Eric and his two charming daughters,. Mindi says she owes it all to Dave Koz, who introduced her to Eric. Being a “Bonus Mom” is a wonderful experience for Mindi and the girls too. Mindi wants to be an example for them and to be the kind of Mom that her Mom has always been for her.

Already this year, Mindi has been touring all over the place. She did three days in London and then went to Champagne, France to tour the underground caves with Eric, who is a wine expert. She has also been all over the US, from Michigan to Florida to Cleveland, Ohio. Next month she’s headed for Beijing to do an engagement at the Blue Note there. Her world is opening up big time but with all the traveling she’s excited to be doing another gig here at home. We hope you’ll join us this Friday night at the Hyatt. Javier Colon, the winner of Season One of the Voice will open the show.


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