Harry Connick Jr., who grew up in New Orleans, says the city will rebuild and that its residents are “freakishly strong.”
In an interview Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, Connick compared the rejuvenating spirit of New Yorkers after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to those in the hurricane-ravaged city.
“One thing about New Orleans, these people are freakishly strong and passionate about this city,” the jazz musician said.
Connick was born and raised in New Orleans, developing his music in jazz bands and at clubs in the French Quarter. His father, Harry Connick Sr., served as district attorney of New Orleans for 29 years before retiring in 2003.
“Everything that I have professionally, and so much of what I have personally, is because of this great, fair city,” Connick said. “And to see it being drowned like this is almost unbearable.”
He will join a televised fundraiser, “A Concert for Hurricane Relief,” Friday on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC (8 p.m. ET) that also will include performances by Wynton Marsalis and Tim McGraw.
In a posting on his Web site, Connick said he knew his immediate family was safe, but hadn’t yet heard from other family and friends.
“It is hard to sit in silence, to watch one’s youth wash away,” the statement said. “New Orleans is my essence, my soul, my muse, and I can only dream that one day she will recapture her glory.”