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Mindi Abair on American Idol! April 16, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, TV.
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NOTE: Abair is pronounced “AY-bare.”

I am subscribed to saxophonist Mindi Abair‘s newsletter.  Last weekend, the newsletter noted that Mindi would be on American Idol on Wednesday night performing with an undisclosed contestant on a song produced by Don Was:

Visitors to her website were also informed of her upcoming appearance:

Mindi recorded a track with producer Don Was for one of the American Idol finalists this weekend, and she will be performing it live on American Idol Wednesday, April 13th.  Tune in to your local Fox listings and cheer her on.  It might be the first sax solo ever in American Idol history.

Not a regular viewer of the show, I DVR’d it while watching a different show in the 8:00 hour.  Later, I skimmed through the recording to see where Mindi showed up.  I wasn’t skimming for long.  Five minutes in, there she was with Paul McDonald on “Old Time Rock and Roll.”  Again from her website:

Mindi rocked out with Paul McDonald on American Idol last night to open the show.  Steven Tyler remarked “Who’s that sax player?” and Ryan Seacrest said if you’d like to vote for “Sax with Paul”, call in.

What a performance it was!  Watch:

You can buy the single, produced by Don Was at iTunes!

Katherine Gilraine liked it, too, writing about the exposure Mindi’s appearance gave smooth/contemporary jazz:

If you caught American Idol recently, then you may have seen something different. And if you’re not part of the jazz scene, then you may be asking yourself, “Who is that sax player? She is good!

From what I saw on FB and Youtube, Mindi Abair all but upstaged the contestant, and people are absolutely amazed, asking why they hadn’t seen her before. Why they hadn’t known that someone can play the saxophone like that. And I say to them, “Are you of the people who dismisses smooth jazz as ‘not real music’? Then that’s why. You dismissed the very music that you’re finding yourself noticing as great and enjoyable.”

Oh, the power of perception and exposure that shatters it.

You can read the rest here.

4/28 UPDATE: From Mindi’s website:

Mindi back on American Idol
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 21:49
Mindi will be back with her saxophone on American Idol this Wednesday night 4/27/11, this time playing with the horn section.  Tune in and cheer her on.

I wish I had known of this sooner.  I’m sorry I missed it.

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