The following biography
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Harry Connick, Jr. (born September 11,
1967) is an American singer, pianist, actor, and humanitarian. His music
encompasses jazz, some of it very much in the style of the crooners of
the 1940s and early '50s, funk and blues. He married model Jill Goodacre
in 1994. They have three daughters: Georgia Tatom (April 17, 1996),
Sarah Kate (September 12, 1997), and Charlotte (June 26, 2002). He is a
prime organizer and captain of the Krewe of Orpheus, a music-based krewe,
taking its name from Orpheus of Classical mythology. The Krewe of
Orpheus parades on St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street in New Orleans on
Lundi Gras (Fat Monday) — the day before Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).
Birth name Joseph Harry Fowler Connick
Born September 11, 1967
Origin New Orleans, Louisiana, United
Genre(s) Jazz, Pop standards
Occupation(s) Singer, pianist, actor,
Instrument(s) Vocals and piano
Years active 1987 — present
Label(s) Columbia Records (1987-present)
Marsalis Music (2003-present)
Harry Connick, Jr., was born Joseph Harry
Fowler Connick in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 11, 1967. His
father, Harry Connick, Sr., was of Irish Catholic descent and the
district attorney of New Orleans for 27 years; his New York-born Jewish
mother was a Louisiana Supreme Court Justice. His parents also owned a
record store. Connick's musical talents soon came to the fore when he
learned the keyboards at the age of three, played publicly at six and
recorded with a local jazz band at 10. His musical talents were
developed at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and under the
tutelage of Ellis Marsalis and James Booker.
Connick attended Jesuit High School and the
prestigious Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He moved to New York
City to study at Hunter College and the Manhattan School of Music, where
a Columbia Records executive persuaded him to sign with that label. His
first record for the label, Harry Connick Jr., was a mainly instrumental
album of standards. He soon acquired a reputation in jazz due to
extended stays at high-profile New York venues. His next album, 20,
featured his vocals and added to this reputation.
When Harry Met Sally... — chart and movie
With Connick's growing reputation, director
Rob Reiner asked him to provide a soundtrack for his 1989 romantic
comedy When Harry Met Sally..., starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. The
soundtrack consisted of several standards, including "It Had to Be You",
"Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore",
and achieved double-platinum status in the United States. He won his
first Grammy for Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance for his work on the
Connick made his screen debut in Memphis
Belle (1990), about a B-17 bomber crew in World War II. In that year, he
began a two-year world tour. In addition, he released two albums in July
1990: the jazz trio album Lofty's Roach Souffle and another album of
standards titled We Are in Love, which also went double platinum. We Are
in Love earned him his second consecutive Grammy for Best Jazz Male
"Promise Me You'll Remember", his
contribution to the Godfather III soundtrack, was nominated for both an
Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1991. In a year of recognition, he
was also nominated for an Emmy for Best Performance in a Variety Special
for his PBS special Swingin' Out Live, which was also released as a
video. In October 1991, he released his third consecutive multi-platinum
album, Blue Light, Red Light, on which he wrote and arranged the songs.
In October 1991, he starred in Little Man Tate, directed by Jodie
Foster, playing the friend of a child prodigy who goes to college.
Connick was arrested in 1992 and charged
with having a 9 mm pistol in his possession at JFK International
Airport. After spending a day in jail, he agreed to make a
public-service television commercial warning against breaking gun laws.
The court agreed to drop all charges if Connick stayed out of trouble
for six months.
In November 1992, Connick released 25, a
solo piano collection of standards that again went platinum. He also
re-released the album Eleven. Connick contributed "A Wink and a Smile"
to the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack, released in 1993. His
multi-platinum album of holiday songs, When My Heart Finds Christmas,
was the best-selling Christmas album in 1993.
Flirtation with funk in the mid-1990s
In 1994, Harry Connick, Jr., decided to
branch out, releasing She, an album of New Orleans funk that also went
platinum. In addition, he released a song called "(I Could Only) Whisper
Your Name" for the soundtrack of The Mask, starring Jim Carrey, which is
his most successful single in the United States to date. He took his
funk music on a tour of the United Kingdom in 1994, an effort that did
not please all of his fans, who were expecting a jazz crooner. One fan
who walked out said, "We expected Frank Sinatra but we got Motörhead
instead." The music was actually more reminiscent of the Meters rather
than Motörhead. Connick also took his funk music to the People's
Republic of China in 1995, playing at the Shanghai Center Theatre. The
performance was televised live in China for what became known as the
Shanghai Gumbo special.
Connick played a homicidal killer in his
third film, Copycat (1995), which starred Holly Hunter and Sigourney
Weaver. The next year, he released his second funk album, Star Turtle,
which did not sell as well as previous albums, although it did reach No.
38 on the charts. However, he appeared in the most successful movie of
that year, Independence Day, with Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum.
Back to basics: return to jazz,
For his 1997 release To See You, Connick
recorded original love songs, touring the United States and Europe with
a full symphony orchestra backing him and his piano in each city. As
part of his tour, he played at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo,
Norway, with his final concert of that tour in Paris being recorded for
a St. Valentine's Day special on PBS in 1998. He also starred in Excess
Baggage opposite Alicia Silverstone and Benicio del Toro in 1997.
In May 1998, he had his first leading role
in a movie in Hope Floats, with Sandra Bullock as his female lead. He
released Come By Me, his first album of big band music in eight years in
1999, and embarked on a world tour visiting the United States, Europe,
Japan and Australia. In addition, he provided the voice of Dean McCoppin
in the animated film The Iron Giant in that year.
Connick wrote the score for Susan Stroman's
Broadway musical Thou Shalt Not, based on Émile Zola's novel Thérèse
Raquin, in 2000; it premiered in 2001. His music and lyrics were
nominated for a Tony Award. He was also the narrator of the film My Dog
Skip, released in that year.
In March 2001, Connick starred in a
television production of South Pacific with Glenn Close, televised on
the ABC network. He also starred in his twelfth movie, Mickey, featuring
a screenplay by John Grisham that same year. In October 2001, he again
released two albums: Songs I Heard, featuring big band reworkings of
children's show themes, and 30, featuring Connick on piano with guest
appearances by several other musical artists. Songs I Heard won Connick
another Grammy for best traditional pop album and he toured performing
songs from the album, holding matinees at which each parent had to be
accompanied by a child.
Connick appeared as Grace Adler's boyfriend
(and later husband) Leo Markus on the NBC sitcom Will & Grace from 2002
to 2006. In July 2003, Connick released his first instrumental album in
fifteen years, Other Hours Connick on Piano Volume 1. It was released on
Branford Marsalis's new label Marsalis Music and led to a short tour of
nightclubs and small theaters.
Connick appeared in the film Basic with
John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. In October 2003, he released his
second Christmas album, Harry for the Holidays, which went gold and
reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200 album chart. He also had a
television special on NBC featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Marc
Anthony and Kim Burrell. Only You, his seventeenth album for Columbia
Records, was released in February 2004. A collection of 1950s and 1960s
ballads, Only You, went Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic and was
certified gold in the United States in March 2004. The Only You tour
with big band went on in America, Australia and a short trip to Asia.
Harry for the Holidays was certified platinum in November 2004. A music
DVD Harry Connick Jr. - "Only You" in Concert was released in March
2004, after it had first aired as a Great Performances special on PBS.
The special won him an Emmy for Outstanding Music Direction. The DVD
received a Gold & Platinum Music Video - Long Form awards from the RIAA
in November 2005.
An animated holiday special, The Happy Elf,
aired on NBC in December 2005, and had Connick as the composer, the
narrator, and one of the executive producers. Shortly after, it was
released on DVD. The holiday special was based on his original song The
Happy Elf, from his 2003 album Harry for the Holidays. Another album
from Marsalis Music was recorded in 2005, Occasion : Connick on Piano,
Volume 2, a duo album with Harry Connick, Jr on piano together with
Branford Marsalis on saxophone. A music DVD, A Duo Occasion, was filmed
at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival 2005 in Canada, and released
in November 2005. He appeared in another episode of NBC sitcom Will &
Grace in November 2005, and will appear in additional 3 episodes in
2006. Bug, a film directed by William Friedkin, is a psychological
thriller filmed in 2005, starring Connick, Ashley Judd, and Michael
Shannon. The film will be released in 2006. He is currently starring in
the Broadway revival of The Pajama Game, produced by the Roundabout
Theater Company, along with Michael McKean and Kelli O'Hara, at the
American Airlines Theatre. It opened February 23, 2006, and is scheduled
to run until June 17, 2006, including 5 benefit performances running
from June 13 to 17.
Involvement for Hurricane Katrina Victims
NBC-sponsored benefit concert
On September 2, 2005, Harry Connick, Jr.
helped to organize, and appeared in, the NBC-sponsored live telethon
concert, A Concert for Hurricane Relief, for relief in the wake of
Hurricane Katrina. As a native son of New Orleans, he spent several days
touring the city, attempting to draw attention to the plight of citizens
stranded at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and other places. At
the concert he paired with host Matt Lauer (Today Show), and
entertainers including Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Kanye West, Mike Myers,
and John Goodman.
Habitat For Humanity
On September 6th, 2005, Harry Connick Jr.
was made honorary chair of Habitat for Humanity’s “Operation Home
Delivery,” a long-term rebuilding plan for families victimized by
Hurricane Katrina in the Big Easy and along the Gulf Coast.
Main article: Musicians' Village
Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis
came up with an initiative to help restore New Orleans's musical
heritage. Habitat for Humanity and New Orleans Area Habitat for
Humanity, working with Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis announced
December 6, 2005, plans for a Musicians' Village in New Orleans. The
Musicians' Village will include Habitat-constructed homes, with a Ellis
Marsalis Center for Music, as the area's centerpiece. The Habitat-built
homes will provide musicians of modest means the opportunity to buy
decent, affordable housing.
2005 Hurricane Relief: Come Together Now -
track #5 "City Beneath The Sea" disc.1 (RIAA will donate 100% of its net
proceeds from the sale of this CD in equal parts to the American Red
Cross, Habitat for Humanity and MusiCares Hurricane Relief 2005)
2005 A Celebration of New Orleans Music to
benefit the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund - track #3 "Good to Be Home"
(All proceeds will go to the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund)
In the cartoon series Freakazoid, the
teenage characters attended "Harry Connick, Jr." High School; presumably
somewhere in Washington D.C.
You can catch him in a Suncom commercial.
2006 Chanson Du Vieux Carre
2006 Oh, My NOLA
2006 Harry on Broadway, Act I -- two-disc
set: 1. Broadway cast recording The Pajama Game; 2. Songs from Thou
Shalt Not featuring Kelli O'Hara
2005 Occasion : Connick on Piano, Volume 2
-- a series of duos with Branford Marsalis
2004 Only You
2003 Harry for the Holidays
2003 Other Hours : Connick on Piano, Volume
2002 Thou Shalt Not -- original Broadway
2001 Songs I Heard
1999 Come By Me
1997 To See You
1996 Star Turtle
1993 When My Heart Finds Christmas
1991 Blue Light, Red Light
1990 Lofty's Roach Souffle
1990 We Are in Love
1989 When Harry Met Sally... -- soundtrack
1987 Harry Connick Jr.
1977 Dixieland Plus
2001 South Pacific - Various Artists - #9
"Younger Than Springtime", #14 "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught" and
#17 "My Girl Back Home"
1998 Kissing a Fool - Various Artists -
"Learn to Love" and "We Are in Love" (appears in the movie, not on the
1996 One Fine Day - Various Artists - #11
"This Guy's In Love With You"
1994 The Mask - Various Artists - #5 "(I
Could Only) Whisper Your Name"
1993 Sleepless In Seattle - Various Artists
- #8 "A Wink And A Smile"
1991 The Godfather Part III - Carmine
Coppola - #12 "Promise Me You'll Remember"
2001 Life Without Dick
2000 The Simian Line
2000 My Dog Skip
1999 Wayward Son
1999 The Iron Giant
1998 Hope Floats
1997 Excess Baggage
1996 Independence Day
1991 Little Man Tate
1990 Memphis Belle
2006 The Pajama Game (Broadway Musical)
2005 The Happy Elf (NBC)
2004 Only You: In Concert (PBS)
2003 Harry for the Holidays (NBC)
2002 Will & Grace (NBC 2002-2006)
2001 Thou Shalt Not (Broadway Musical) -
2001 Evening at Pops (PBS)
2001 South Pacific (ABC)
1999 The Worlds of Harry Connick Jr.
1998 Harry Connick Jr.: Romance in Paris
1993 The Harry Connick Jr. Christmas
1991 Cheers - TV show guest appearance
2005 A Duo Occasion
2004 Only You: In Concert (Sony Music)
2003 Harry for the Holidays (Columbia)
1994 The Harry Connick Jr. Christmas
1993 The New York Big Band Concert (Sony
1990 Swingin' Out Live (Sony Music)
1990 Singin' and Swingin' (Sony Music)
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