New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. is coming to Merrill Auditorium! He has lovingly described New Orleans as “an amazing gumbo of culture” and we can’t wait for him to bring some Southern flavor up north. His hometown turns 300 years old this year, and he is celebrating the only way he knows how: with sultry tunes and a full live band.
So, you know his gorgeous face and his velvety voice – but how much do you know about Harry Connick, Jr.’s early days?
1. Connick’s parents had pretty serious day jobs: his mother was a Louisiana Supreme Court justice, and his father was the district attorney of the Parish of Orleans. But while they weren’t enforcing the law, they ran a record shop and gave their son an invaluable musical education.
2. Connick started learning how to play the piano at age 3, and at age 5 he played at his father’s swearing-in ceremony. Soon enough, 10-year-old Harry was laying down tracks with a local jazz band.
3. When he was just 9 years old, Connick performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 37, with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, which is now the Louisiana Philharmonic. Casual.
4. Later that year, he played a duet with Eubie Blake that was immortalized in a Japanese documentary titled, Jazz Around the World.
5. As a teenager, Connick attended the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, where his mentors included jazz legends James Booker and Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Check out this vintage pic of baby Harry with Booker:
*BONUS FACT!* Harry Connick, Jr. has always been able to rock a turtleneck:
By Rebecca Bass