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Max Weinberg

Weinberg opens summer jazz series in Newport Beach.

PHOTOS AND STORY BY RALPH PALUMBO

June 24, 2011

The INFINITI Summer Concert Series kicked off June 24 with Max Weinberg leading the pack. If the name sounds familiar you may remember him as longtime band leader for Conan O'Brien or maybe from the 37-year run performing and recording with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

Max Weinberg playing drums

His work on both "Late Night" and "The Tonight Show" provided him the opportunity to play with legends Tony Bennett, BB King and Isaac Hayes. He also performed with Paul McCartney, Sting, Tom Jones, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Bono.

At the Summer Concert Series presented by ROLEX South Coast Plaza at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, Weinberg led his seven-piece, jazz-blues blend under the stars with special guests Bill Champlin, formerly of Chicago, and sax player Mindi Abair.

Bill Champlin

Champlin rotated between piano and guitar, playing his hit "Look Away" at the show's midpoint to a very appreciative audience.

Abair's powerful sax lines were a high point as she took stage several times throughout the evening.

Mindi Abair