b. San Jose, California, USA. Mindy Jostyn first played the family piano aged two. Inspired by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz, she attempted to write her first songs just two years later. She had learned accordion, violin, guitar and harmonica by the age of 11, at which time she formed her first band, the Tigers. Her subsequent career at high school was frequently interrupted by musical ambitions, leading to attendance at four different high schools and no diploma. She then moved to New York to form the Cyclone Rangers. Although that band struggled to achieve popularity, Jostyn’s career experienced a boost in 1989 when she was called by G.E. Smith, band leader on the American television show Saturday Night Live. He needed a female harmonica player for a sketch hosted by Dolly Parton, and she was the only such player listed in the New York musician’s union book. She was subsequently invited back for a second performance alongside Billy Joel, with whom she also toured in 1990. Word of her skills spread, and the following year she joined Joe Jackson on his European and Australian dates. 1992 saw her become part of the New York Rock And Soul Revue, led by Donald Fagen. She also worked with the Hooters and John Mellencamp. She featured on Carly Simon’s Live At Grand Central Station live album and home video in 1994, before deciding the time was right to establish herself as a solo artist. Her debut, Five Miles From Hope, also featured Simon on the duet, ‘Time Be On My Side’.
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