10 Questions for Mindi Abair

1. How old were you when you first started playing music?
I started piano at 5 old and saxophone at 8 years old in the school band!

2. Who was/is your biggest musical inspiration?
I grew up on the road with my father’s band, The Fabulous Entertainers. I was born… and we all took off in the band truck. We didn’t even have a house until I was 5. His band was a blue-eyed soul band. He played the saxophone and was that guy who would shake and shimmy and walk the bar with his sax. He looked like he was having so much fun! So I copied him and I’ve definitely had a lot of fun! Other than my Dad, Lance Abair, I was so inspired by David Sanborn. I grew up watching a lot of MTV. I loved Tina Turner and Heart and so many rock and pop acts. I didn’t know anything about jazz. My father took me to a David Sanborn concert and a lightbulb went off in my head. He was like the lead singer of a pop band with a saxophone. It all made sense to me that I could do that too!

3. Where do you make your home?
I live in a little 1916 Craftsman in Hollywood, CA and an 1884 Craftsman in Healdsburg, CA in Sonoma. We go in between the two!

4. Do you have any pets?
No pets … we’re on the road too much. But we always try to make friends with every cat we find out and about on the road. Our favorite so far is Romeo who we met while on my Mindi Abair’s Wine and Jazz Adventure in Tuscany!

5. What is the best concert/gig you have ever done?
Wow… crazy question! I’ve been in a lot of different places! I’ll go with my band at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago. It was such a “high.” I had some of my co-writers come in and play with me, and I had David Pack come sit in for a song with me, and I brought in a college marching band from Pasadena, CA to finish off the show with a big bang… flag girls, a huge drum line… big bushy hats… it was amazing.

6. What is the best concert you have ever attended?
The first concert I ever paid to see was Cheap Trick… I’m still a huge fan. When I toured with Aerosmith in 2012, Cheap Trick opened for us. I watched their show every night for 26 nights. They’re the best.. every night!

7. Do you have an all-time favourite song?
I love “Summertime.” We play it live quite a lot. I recorded it on my Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers Live in Seattle album. So many people have recorded it… it’s one of the best melodies of all time for me.

8. What musician would you still most like to work with?
I love Bonnie Raitt. I would love to work with her.

9. If you weren't a musician what would you be?
Grumpy. Probably I’d work for a charity that would help musicians and artists!

10. What is your favourite thing about Vancouver?
The Wave 983 FM!!!! Of course!

Vickie van Dyke - middays