About the Show
Harry Connick Jr Host & Executive Producer
Harry Connick Jr has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world. He has received recognition with multiple Grammy and Emmy Awards as well as Tony Nominations for his live and recorded musical performances, his achievements on screens large and small, and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer.
Harry began performing the music of his native New Orleans as a pianist and vocalist at the age of five. He moved to New York at age 18, signed with Columbia Records and three years later achieved multi-platinum success with his contributions to the “When Harry Met Sally…” movie soundtrack. Over the past three decades, he has established himself as a musician, singer and composer par excellence, a legendary live performer and a best-selling artist with millions of records sold around the world.
In the 1990s he became an on-screen presence with roles in films such as “Little Man Tate,” “Copycat,” and “Independence Day” and as a romantic lead opposite Sandra Bullock in “Hope Floats.” His voice-over talents were featured in “The Iron Giant” and “My Dog Skip” and he continues to appear in films, most recently in “Dolphin Tale” and its sequel.
Harry began making his mark in the world of television at the turn of the new millennium. He was a lead actor in ABC’s “South Pacific” and then scored a recurring role in the groundbreaking sitcom “Will & Grace.” In 2013, he joined the judging panel of “American Idol” alongside Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban. Harry also brought his music to the small screen with his “Harry for the Holidays” Christmas special on NBC and his Emmy- winning, PBS specials “Only You in Concert” and “Live in Concert on Broadway.” In addition, “The Happy Elf,” based on a Harry original Christmas song was animated for an NBC Television Special.
The Connick realm also expanded to include Broadway. He received Tony nominations both for his debut work on Broadway as composer and lyricist for the musical “Thou Shalt Not” and for his debut as the lead actor in the Tony-winning revival of “The Pajama Game.” He has also adapted “The Happy Elf” for children’s theater.
In addition, Harry is a go-to artist for important events. In the spring of 2016 he gave the commencement address and received an Honorary Doctorate from Loyola University in New Orleans. He was honored to perform at the 2015 papal mass of Pope Francis at Madison Square Gardens as well as at Pope Benedict XVI’s Yankee Stadium mass in 2008. He has also performed at major sporting events such as the 2008 NBA All-Star Game and sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXVI.
Despite his busy career, Harry has always found the time to be charitable and has done some of his most important work in his efforts to help New Orleans rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. He, along with friend Branford Marsalis, conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Musicians’ Village provides homes for Katrina-displaced musicians and its focal point, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, is a teaching facility for children, a performance hall and recording studio for musicians, and a gathering place for the community. Harry’s contributions to the post-Katrina effort have been acknowledged with a Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, an honorary degree from Tulane University, a 2010 National Building Museum honor and the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service.
But a career filled with honors and accolades has not led Harry Connick Jr to slow his creative pace; instead it inspires him to find different avenues of expression as he embarks on his new venture as host and executive producer of his own nationally syndicated entertainment show, “HARRY.”
Born in St. Louis in 1973, Neal began studying violin at the age of three and played classical violin through his school years, picking up the electric and acoustic bass along the way. In the tradition of other graduates of University City High School, a hotbed of talented young jazz musicians, Neal moved south to study at Tulane University and immersed himself in the rich music scene of New Orleans. At 18, he began working in the clubs in town with many top musicians. When faced with the choice of taking his final exams or going on a European tour with the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Neal chose the latter and has been working ever since.
Neal joined the Harry Connick Jr Big Band in 2000 and has toured all over the world and performed on all of the band’s recordings since then. Prior to working with Harry, at age 21 Neal moved to New York to join the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine. After more than three years with Jones, Neal began touring with Diana Krall playing with Krall and guitarist Russell Malone for a year. Neal then joined the band jazz legend Betty Carter for a year until her untimely death, followed by a brief stint in the Benny Green Trio.
In 2005, Neal released his first CD as a leader: Backstabber's Ball.
Arthur Latin II
Arthur “Bam Bam” Latin’s career began at the age of three when he embraced his passion and desire for drums by playing in his father’s church. By the time he was 18, Arthur had won several honors, including Texas All-State, All-Area and All-Region placement in band and orchestra. He also earned a four-year scholarship to Stephen F. Austin State University when he won an award for young artists.
At 19, Arthur composed, performed, and produced his first record titled Forever One, under the artist name ALII. This experience prompted Arthur’s new desire for sound engineering, leading him to transfer to Southwest Texas University (now Texas State University) where he was placed in the top jazz band and combo. He also performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention in Atlanta with the Texas State Jazz Ensembles.
Arthur first met Harry in 1997 when Harry stopped by a club in Austin, Texas, where Arthur was subbing for a drummer with the Elias Haslinger Septet. Harry sat in with the band that night and a few weeks later visited Arthur’s school, jammed with Arthur again and invited him to join the band. Arthur has since recorded eight albums with Harry on Columbia records and has performed with the band at many major events around the world.
When he’s not working with Harry, Arthur is busy doing pre-production and recording electronic music in his home studio with various artists.
Geoff Burke graduated from Duke University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies. At Duke, Geoff studied saxophone and arranging with the late Paul Jeffrey. He has been a member of Harry Connick Jr's band since 2009 and can be heard on the live recording, Harry Connick Jr: In Concert on Broadway.
Geoff has performed with Wynton Marsalis, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, Natalie Cole, and Dispatch, and is featured on Strange Majik's latest LP, Raised on Rock 'N' Roll.
He is a proud rescue dog owner of Doxy, whom he adopted from the Philadelphia SPCA at the Phillies annual adopt-a-pet night. Geoff is also an enthusiastic golfer who loves to golf with Harry and “show Harry what not to do on the golf course.”
Boston-born and Miami-bred, Dion Tucker, an accomplished trombonist, composer and music educator, moved to New York in 1998 to study at The New School under the tutelage of pioneering trombonists Benny Powell and Steve Turre, among others.
In 2007 Dion saw a clip of Harry’s new music video on TV and he remembers thinking that it was really cool that Harry included his whole band in the video. Much to his surprise, shortly thereafter he got a call from Harry asking him to join the band. Since then, Dion has had the unique opportunity to perform with Harry for President Barack Obama at the 2012 Governors Ball, as lead trombonist in the 2011 Broadway revival of On a Clear Day, and at the Papal Mass for Pope Benedict at Yankee Stadium in 2008.
In 2001, Dion had the privilege of touring with the rock band Matchbox 20, and he was lead trombonist in The Duke Ellington Orchestra from 2003 until 2013. Throughout his career, Dion has shared the stage with various jazz, soul, and gospel greats. His many television appearances comprise of ceremonies such as the 2013 Kennedy Center Honor Awards and the 2009 Mark Twain Prize, as well as the 2008 NBC All-Star Game in New Orleans and numerous daytime TV shows.
Dion was a featured artist at the 2010 and 2016 North Carolina Jazz Festivals. He performed with the Lincoln Center All-Star Band for the Tony-nominated Broadway After Midnight. He also served as composer for his band Oddlogik’s album, Modern Authenticity.
As an educator, Dion has taught in more than 20 New York City public schools through the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz For Young People program and he is a faculty member at Jazz House Kids, a music education program in New Jersey fronted by Christian McBride. He also served as a clinician at the Snipes Academy for 250 students on the topic of New Orleans jazz.
Augie Haas lives in New York where he is a professional trumpeter, composer, and teacher.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Augie earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago. After Chicago, he attended the University of Miami for a Masters in Studio Music and Jazz and a Doctorate in Musical Arts.
When he was around 18 years old, Augie saw Harry play at a concert in Milwaukee. He never expected that years later he’d be asked to join Harry’s band. Augie’s first gig with Harry was in Niagara Falls in 2012 and they have been playing together ever since.
Augie has released four albums under his co-founded label Playtime Music: The Llama, Doing it Augie Style, Baby Jazz, and Endless. He is also the author of a book entitled Build Your Range: A Practical Approach to Building Trumpet Range and Endurance.
Jonathan DuBose Jr.
Jonathan’s start in the music business began at the early age of eight with his father’s quartet, Sensational Starlights of Bridgeport, CT. He received recognition during a rehearsal at the Edwin Hawkins Music and Art Seminar, after which he was hired by Walter Hawkins and recorded and performed with the Hawkins Family Love Center Choir.
Jonathan first met Harry in Paris in 1993 where Jonathan was performing with Tramaine Hawkins. In 1994, Harry reached out thinking that Jonathan might be a good fit for Harry’s new funk album, Star Turtle. And he was right; in Jonathan’s words “It worked out perfectly: the hand inside the glove that made everything fit.” Jonathan has recorded and toured with Harry since then.
Jonathan has also recorded with many top gospel artists and his gift has taken him all over the world. It was in New Zealand that Jonathan was inspired by the Holy Spirit to create a new musical category: “C.A.U.S.” (Classified as Universal Sounds), which he defines as music that delivers people from their various dilemmas.
Jonathan has recorded 4 CDs under his label JoBo Records.
Lucien Barbarin’s legendary family roots trace back to Isidore Barbarin, who mentored the young Louis Armstrong nearly a century ago. Armstrong recruited Isidore’s son, Paul, to play drums with his band. Today, the torch rests in the hands of Lucien Barbarin, whose command of the trombone and love for performing establish him as one of New Orleans’ premier musical ambassadors.
Lucien first saw Harry perform at an event where they were both performing. Six-year-old Harry’s rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In” left an impression, and in 1990 when Harry (at the recommendation of Wynton Marsalis) asked Lucien to join his new band, Lucien readily agreed.
Raised in the Seventh Ward, Lucien made his own debut at age six, playing drums with his Uncle Paul’s Onward Brass Band. By high school he was playing trombone and co-leading the Fairview Baptist Christian Church Band with his cousin, Danny Barker. Lucien’s tastes ranged from jazz to funk: he drew inspiration from J. J. Johnson’s bop virtuosity and played R&B gigs around New Orleans with the groups Stone Mountain and Joy. But an invitation to work six nights a week with drummer Albert “June” Gardner at the Famous Door, in the heart of the French Quarter, drew him toward traditional jazz. Lucien’s calendar filled quickly as he picked up jobs with various bands.
Today, Lucien tours internationally, from the North Sea to the White House, with both the Harry Connick Jr. and the Band Preservation Hall Band. While in New Orleans he performs locally and spends time with his five children, in whom signs of musical talent are, not surprisingly, stirring.
Trumpeter and vocalist Mark Braud is the quintessence of the New Orleans spirit. His energetic interpretations of melody craft a freshly unpredictable spin on the tradition of jazz and the down-home, honest grooves of New Orleans. Born in New Orleans, Braud comes from a family of world-renowned musicians. Traditional jazz, R&B, and the great American songbook inspire his engaging music.
Braud has been a member of Harry Connick Jr's band since 2001. He served as the leader of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from 2008 to 2016. He has played with a who's who of the music industry, ranging from the Treme Brass Band, the Marsalis family, and Allen Toussaint, all the way to the Foo Fighters, John Oates, Tom Waits, My Morning Jacket, Mos Def, Elvis Costello, and Erykah Badu.
Braud’s work as a composer and performer can be seen in several episodes of Treme, American Horror Story, Sonic Highways, and NCIS: New Orleans.
Braud has played many of the world's premier music venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the White House, the Grand Palace for the King of Thailand, and more intimate settings: the Blue Note, Snug Harbor, Ronnie Scott's, and Preservation Hall.
Jerry, a native New Yorker, joined Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra in 1981 upon graduating from Rutgers’ Jazz Program. He met Harry in 1987 in New Orleans, and in 1990 he became a charter member and featured soloist in Harry Connick Jr's newly formed big band. The two have been great pals ever since. During his tenure with Connick, Jerry has toured extensively in the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and he has appeared on dozens of television programs and on Broadway.
A veteran sax man, Jerry has also worked with many jazz greats including: Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Joey DeFrancesco, Al Grey, George Cables, Jimmy Cobb, Keter Betts, Roy Haynes, George Benson, Earl Klugh, and Mel Tormé. With more sideman sides than he can count and seven CDs as a leader, Jerry’s latest, On the Move, spent two months on the JazzWeek charts.
About the Band
Learn more about each member of the HARRY Band by clicking on their image above.
From left to right in the photo:
Neal Caine | Bass
Jumaane Smith | Trumpet (not pictured)
Lucien Barbarin | Trombone
Dion Tucker | Trombone
Jonathan Du Bose Jr | Guitar
Arthur Latin II | Drums
Geoff Burke | Saxophone
Jerry Weldon | Saxophone
Andrew Fisher | Musical Director (not pictured)
Harry Connick, Jr. Helps Evacuees – NBC Nightly News – September 3, 2017
City of Contrasts: Some Still in Crisis, Others Back To Normal – Houston Chronicle – September 4th, 2017
Singer Harry Connick Jr. Serenades Harvey Evacuees at George R. Brown
Family Flooded in Katrina, Again in Harvey Gets Support From Ex-Classmates At Baton Rouge High
Harry Connick, Jr. Surprises Houston Neighborhoods