Born: September 11, 1967 Primary Instrument: Piano
Harry Connick, Jr.'s career has been studded with awards and recognition, including several multi-platinum and gold albums, Grammy and Emmy awards, a starring role in a Tony-winning Broadway musical and much more. A true American icon, there are few artists of Harry's stature, and fewer still with such a comprehensive span of the entire realm of entertainment.
Harry grew up in New Orleans, and it is here you will find the roots of his love for music and performing. His early talent was shaped by study with such luminaries as James Booker and Ellis Marsalis, and he was but five years old when he began performing. Harry appeared on his first jazz recording at age ten, and left New Orleans for the Big Apple at 18. Within a year he released his self-titled major label debut for Columbia Records. His second album, 20, introduced audiences to his magnificent voice, and there was no turning back Harry was on his way.
Harry's first widespread success as a musician came when director Rob Reiner asked him to contribute the score to the 1989 smash film, When Harry Met Sally… The film's success led to Harry's first multi-platinum album, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that it was also Harry's first Big Band recording.
The full scope of Harry's artistry emerged in the 90's. His groundbreaking albums from this time are a diverse mix of his many musical talents. Original instrumentals and vocals on Lofty's Roach Soufflé and We are in Love. Funk exploration on She and Star Turtle. Romantic balladry on To See You. As a fitting cap to this vibrantly successful decade, Harry seamlessly wove his talents together in the Big Band tour de force: Come by Me. The San Francisco Chronicle deemed the album, …easily the crowning achievement of his career. Come by Me debuted at #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart and reigned there for several months.
Harry also made his film debut in 1990, opposite Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz and John Lithgow in the drama Memphis Belle. The following year he appeared in Jodie Foster's directorial debut, Little Man Tate, a project the Washington Post recognized as …intrinsically poignant. Harry changed tunes for his next film role, portraying a homicidal sociopath in 1995's Copycat. The critics took notice, with the New York Times dubbing him, …scarily effective, and the Tampa Tribune naming him most memorable in a cast that included Holly Hunter and Sigourney Weaver. Next for Harry was a memorable role in the 1996 blockbuster, Independence Day, one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.