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Mindi Abair, Jeff Golub and David Pack

The unique Trio performs under the stars at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach

PHOTOS AND STORY BY RALPH PALUMBO

July 22, 2011

The INFINITI Summer Concert Series presented by ROLEX South Coast Plaza played on July 22 with Mindi Abair with Jeff Golub at Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. Performing to a sold-out crowd, Abair and Golub were joined by special guest David Pack.

Mindi Abair playing sax live in concert

Abair's career is in full throttle - she won Best International Instrumentalist this year at the Wave Awards and her "American Idol" appearances have made her the most recognized female sax player on the planet. The chemistry between the three artists made for one of the most memorable shows at this venue to date.

Jeff Golub, a longtime sideman for Rod Stewart and Billy Squire, brought blues into the mix. His new album, Three Kings, a tribute to greats BB, Freddie and Albert King is out with rave reviews. The majority of spectators were astonished to find out that Golub recently lost his vision (due to optic nerve collapse). He was escorted on and off stage during this, only his third performance since going blind. The audience was transfixed on every note emanating from his fingertips, and Golub was flawless throughout.

A show highlight was the band breaking into Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign," which happens to be track number two on Golub's new album. Halfway into the first set, producer Jim Fitzgerald came out to read a poem that Leonard Bernstein's daughter wrote for Golub, which was followed by Pack and Abair reading their own sets of poems. It was a heartfelt moment full of love and respect for Golub.

Mindi Abair plaining saxaphone is joined by David Pack and Jeff Golub live in concert

Having Pack as special guest was a real treat for the crowd - Pack is the guitarist, singer and a writer for the legendary rock group Ambrosia. He is also a Grammy-winning producer. Pack helped round off of the show with some great songs, including "Biggest Part of Me."

Mindi Abair relaxing by pool

Between Abair's smooth jazz favorites like "Flirt," Golub's down and dirty blues and Pack's huge Ambrosia hits, the crowd spent a lot of time on its feet. This was a great night at an outstanding place to see a show. Looking forward to July 29's Hiroshima show.

Mindi Abair cradling her saxaphone