Harry Connick Jr.
Durham Performing Arts Center—What's most surprising about the prolific career of Harry Connick Jr. may be that the New Orleans-born, New York-based pianist is but 41 years old. A former child prodigy who studied with some of his city's greats, including James Booker, before heading to the Big Apple to sign a major label deal while still a teenager, Connick's released two dozen albums and starred in nearly as many films during his short career. All the while, he's charmed with his suave demeanor, erudite play, and a smile that will delight the front rows of Durham's bright new room. Connick's warm voice and tender musicianship favors the more cosmopolitan surface of his new home rather than the grit of his birthplace, which should work for this Holiday Celebration tour. A tight band of horns, bass and drums dance and blare around his black piano, front and center from the start. Pay $50-$87 for the 7:30 p.m. engagement. —Grayson Currin