Recognized for his live and recorded musical performances, and for his achievements on screens large and small, as well as on the Broadway stage, Harry Connick, Jr. has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world.
The foundation of Connick’s art is the music of his native New Orleans, where he began performing as a pianist and vocalist at the age of five. His career took off when he signed with Columbia Records at 18 years old and revealed his stunning piano technique and vivid musical imagination on his self-titled debut album. His follow-up album, “20,” announced that Connick was equally gifted as a singer. But this was soon overshadowed by his multi-platinum success with the soundtrack for the hit comedy “When Harry Met Sally…” To date, Connick has released 29 albums, won three Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards, and garnered sales of 28 million. His most recent releases are “Smokey Mary” and “Every Man Should Know.”
In addition to his music career, Connick has also appeared on the screen and stage as an actor. Among his feature film credits are “Little Man Tate,” “Copycat,” “Hope Floats,” “Memphis Belle,” “Independence Day,” “Life without Dick,” “Mickey,” “Basic,” “P.S. I Love You,” “New in Town,” “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2.” His voiceover skills were featured in “My Dog Skip” and “The Iron Giant.”
On television, Connick is perhaps best known for his recurring role on “Will & Grace.” He also appeared in an arc of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and has graced audiences with his musical talents in several primetime specials, including “Harry for the Holidays,” the animated tale “The Happy Elf” and the Emmy Award-winning PBS specials “Only You in Concert” and “Harry Connick, Jr. in Concert on Broadway.”
His Broadway career boasts equal recognition, having received Tony Award nominations as both composer/lyricist for the musical “Thou Shalt Not” and as the lead in the Tony Award-winning revival of “The Pajama Game.” He also has adapted “The Happy Elf” for children’s theater, starred in the Broadway revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” and – on the 20th anniversary of his first Broadway concerts at the Lunt-Fontaine Theatre – brought his live show for an extended residency at the Neil Simon Theatre.
Not surprisingly, Connick has used his influence as an entertainer to further his charitable work. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he created, along with fellow musician and New Orleanian Branford Marsalis, the Musicians’ Village in the Upper Ninth Ward. The Village and its centerpiece, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, provide homes for musicians and other displaced citizens, a community center with a performance hall, a recording studio and after-school facilities for kids. His contributions to the post-Katrina effort have been acknowledged by a Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, an honorary degree from Tulane University and the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service.