As the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. and his 13-year-old daughter, Kate Connick, are paying it forward by using their musical talents to honor the city's culture and help victims who continue to face hardships in the aftermath of the storm.
The Grammy-winning musician and actor and his daughter teamed up with American Girl to create Kate's first original song, "A Lot Like Me." The song is inspired by American Girl's two new historical characters, Cécile and Marie-Grace, whro are from New Orleans. Harry wrote the song, with Kate's input, and accompanies Kate on piano as she sings in the "Second Cup Cafe" on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning."The message behind Cécile and Marie-Grace books is a simple, yet powerful one: "What counts is who you are, no matter where you're from, what you look like, or whatever else makes you different," according to American Girl.
"A Lot Like Me" is available exclusively on iTunes, and proceeds benefit after-school programming at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans (founded by Harry and Branford Marsalis), a great space with classrooms, a recording studio, listening library, and performance hall-opening August 25, the Katrina anniversary..
When it comes to making music, Kate isn't a novice, however. She did a duet with her dad for his holiday CD in 2009. But this is Kate's first solo debut.
"'A Lot Like Me' is a really fun song with such a good message, like the books about Cécile and Marie-Grace. It's about knowing that it doesn't matter what skin color you have or what religion you follow-what's inside is what's important," said Kate Connick. "I have friends who have different backgrounds. They come from different places, so this means something to me. I'm just so happy that I get to be a part of it."
Harry Connick Jr. started performing at the young age of five and, at age 10, he appeared on his first jazz recording. At 18, he left New Orleans in pursuit if his dreams and headed to New York City, where he would later see his name in lights. Within a year he released his self-titled major label debut for Columbia Records. His second album, which he released at age 20, really brought him to the forefront and introduced him to a broad spectrum of audiences.
He also has an extensive body of film work, which includes "Memphis Belle," "Little Man Tate," "Independence Day," "Copycat" and "Hope Floats." He has also starred in the Broadway revival for "The Pajama Game" and composed music for Broadway's "Thou Shalt Not," which he earned a Tony nomination.