Connick celebrates, mourns New Orleans

  • By Sharon Wootton / Special to The Herald
  • Thursday, May 31, 2007 9:00pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

Grammy-winner Harry Connick Jr. is still concerned for his hometown of New Orleans and continues to sing to its benefit.

His latest CD, “Oh, My NOLA,” includes many original jazz compositions and classics that relate to the city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina. He’ll donate a portion of the royalties to the New Orleans Habitat Musicians’ Village.

Connick performs Saturday in Woodinville, with music from that recording, which debuted at the top of the Billboard jazz albums charts.

Two of the originals are “Do Your Thing,” a celebration of the city’s culture, and “All These People,” reflecting the suffering that he witnessed immediately following the hurricane, including the chaos at the Convention Center.

The singer is not only a pianist but an actor on Broadway (“The Pajama Game”) and films (“Little Man Tate,” “Basic”), and has written or performed for movie soundtracks (“When Harry Met Sally,” “Godfather III”).

Leona Coakley-Spring: The Bahamas-born singer-songwriter and actress has organized a June concert with proceeds going to charities that serve the AIDS population in the Bahamas. Coakley-Spring, who has opened for the Blind Boys of Alabama, will join her Grammy-nominated brothers T and Kirk Coakley and daughter, Brettina Robinson, for a jazz and gospel performance. Sunday, Kirkland.

The Raveonettes: The Danish duo brings back the pop-radio sounds of the 1950s and ’60s. Combined with early rebellious rock and inspired by Buddy Holly, Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo started with fuzz, distortion and noise, essentially producing a darker version of bubblegum music (and a challenge to listen to for more than 30 minutes). Now they’re touring with a more melodic “Pretty in Black.” Tuesday, Seattle.

John Mayer, Ben Folds: Originally an acoustic rock artist, Mayer has been leaning toward the blues the last few years, particularly in “Continuum,” which won a Grammy in February for Best Pop Vocal Album and a Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Grammy for “Waiting on the World to Change.” Mayer recently hit the cover of Rolling Stone as one of the “New Guitar Gods” of contemporary music. Folds, an aggressive piano player, founded the guitarless power-pop trio Ben Folds Five. Saturday, The Gorge.

Joshua Redman: Music beat law for the attention of Redman, who graduated from Harvard and was accepted by Yale Law School in 1991. He postponed Yale for one year to follow his passion. Redman promptly won the Thelonius Monk International Saxophone Competition, was signed by Warner Bros., and never returned to Yale. Thursday through June 10, Seattle.

Avishai Cohen Trio: The former Chick Correa bassist has a new CD, “As Is.” He’s been called a “jazz visionary of global proportions” by DownBeat magazine, and made the 100 most influential bass players of the 20th century list of Bass Player magazine. Four years ago, he joined Alicia Keys for a studio recording. Tuesday and Wednesday, Seattle.

Robbie Jordan: The reed player and composer, still with many ties in Snohomish County, will be recording a CD – live – this weekend. He’s played with David Lanz’s band as well as recorded or performed with Michael Hedges, Michael Manning, Liz Story, Bo Diddley, Johnny Rivers and Buddy Miles. He’ll record “The Beat Goes On” with his six-man group, SweetSucker. Flying in from Los Angeles is Tim Scott, who has played with Tower of Power and Eric Clapton. Saturday, Redmond.

Gerald Collier: Almost nine years after backing Collier for his major-label, self-titled album, the band has reunited for a mini-tour playing music from “How Can There Be Another Day?” The CD is full of outtakes and demos from their past. Entertainment Weekly said that Collier’s gritty songs “recall Neil Young at his most bummed out.” Tonight, Seattle.

Harry Connick Jr. performs Saturday in Woodinville.

Leona Coakley-Spring performs Sunday in Kirkland.

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