A stellar career that spans nearly three decades. 29 albums, 3 Grammy Awards, 2 Emmy Awards, and 2 Tony Award nominations. Film and TV credits. A starring role on Broadway.
And that’s just the beginning.
Harry Connick, Jr.’s multi-faceted career began when he was a child growing up in New Orleans. At age 18, he left Louisiana and moved to New York to pursue his music career and, as they say, the rest is history. Over the years, Harry has performed an impressive repertoire of original songs and Great American standards, entertaining audiences of all generations and continuing to challenge himself professionally and creatively.
“I’m always working on multiple projects, and some of them bubble up to the top,” Harry said. “You have to keep a lot of things going at the same time. You have to keep a lot of irons in the fire.”
One of his latest projects, serving as a judge on the 14th season of American Idol alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban, allows him to work with up-and-coming performers and share what’s he’s learned throughout his career. “This season is different because Jen and Keith and I all tried to find people that were ready for this experience. This year we tried to find people that were a little more ready for what the Idol experience is: an extremely high-profile boot camp, sort of. Not everybody has the personality for that.”
Whether he’s filming new episodes of American Idol or preparing for a live performance, Harry admits he relies on a team of people to manage his hectic schedule. “I don’t schedule anything. If I did I would never get anything done. My manager has been with me since I was 18. She knows me better than anybody. She knows the things that are important to me. If I need to be home for an important family event, those things are always a priority for her.”
On Wednesday evening, Harry will perform at the Berglund Center as part of his 2015 Winter Tour, which began on February 4 in Charlotte and will conclude on March 7 in New York City. But no one show is exactly the same. “Shows change night to night,” Harry said. “It’s a slight different band, and the music is always changing. I’m always putting in different music. It’s going to be an experience catered to that group of people on that night.”
A unique performance from a uniquely talented and successful performer whose advice to aspiring singers and songwriters is to, simply, practice. “Develop your craft. It’s pretty easy to film yourself and put yourself on YouTube. The most important thing is to become a good musician and a good performer. The accessibility that these young performers have is a little bit of a distraction. If they get famous, they find out they are sorely unprepared. Work as hard as you can so you can be prepared.”
Harry Connick, Jr. 2015 Winter Tour
Wednesday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.
Berglund Performing Arts Theatre