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Harry for the Holidays

The holiday season is nigh upon us, which means jazz pianist/vocalist/actor/superstar Harry Connick Jr. must take a break from his duties on Will & Grace to take on Santa Claus and get some of his own Christmastime exposure, thanks to NBC, which airs Will & Grace.

Connick will begin his assault on all media starting this week with a walk-on appearance during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (televised on NBC from 9 a.m. to noon). On Thanksgiving night Connick gets his own primetime special, Harry for the Holidays, also airing on the Peacock (check your local listings for time). The special will feature Connick playing and singing holiday tunes like “Silver Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman,” as well as a few comedy sketches. NBC’s Web site states that “the holiday celebration also boasts traditional and untraditional performances that reflect Connick’s New Orleans jazz and funk roots.” So maybe we’ll get some real jazz from it too. Star Latin singer Marc Anthony, comic Whoopi Goldberg and happy show-tune guy Nathan Lane will be Connick’s featured guests on the program.

Connick will keep himself busy next week performing Christmas tunes on the Today Show December 3, a promotion for his new Harry for the Holidays CD and a warm up for his performance that night at NBC’s annual Christmas tree lighting. The following day, he’ll perform two songs for those lovely ladies of The View.

The Harry For The Holidays album, released on October 28, is Connick’s second holiday themed disc and a collection of 16 Christmas songs in Connick’s swinging jazz style. It landed at number one on the Billboard jazz chart last week and even reached as high as number 30 on the Billboard top 200, up 15 spots from the previous week, earning our boy the distinction of “Greatest Gainer.” It’s the first time he’s been at the top of the jazz charts since 1999’s Come By Me. Here’s a track list:

1. Frosty The Snow Man

2. Blue Christmas

3. The Christmas Waltz

4. I Wonder As I Wander

5. Silver Bells

6. Mary’s Little Boy Child

7. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

8. The Happy Elf

9. I’ll Be Home For Christmas

10. I Come With Love

11. Nature Boy

12. O Little Town Of Bethlehem

13. I’m Gonna Be The First One

14. This Christmas

15. Nothin’ New For New Year

16. Silent Night

For a limited time, Target stores are offering the album with a Target-only bonus track, “Jingle Bells.” And you should find a flyer inside any copy of the album you buy that tells of a forthcoming Connick release, Only You, featuring standards from the ’50s and ’60s.

The suave renaissance man is also on tour promoting Harry for the Holidays. The shows are almost all sold out but supposedly there are still some tickets available through VH1’s Save the Music at There are also “Special Guest” tickets still available (with their proceeds benefiting VH1’s Save The Music) for the shows in Rochester, Buffalo, Detroit, Boston, Hartford, Pittsburgh and Chicago. With this ticket you’ll be able to meet Connick backstage after the show. Here are the tour dates:

11/25/03 • New York, NY • Bloomingdales

11/28/03 • New York, NY • City Center

11/29/03 • New York, NY • City Center

12/01/03 • Washington, DC • Kennedy Center

12/02/03 • Washington, DC • Kennedy Center

12/06/03 • Rochester, NY • Eastman Theatre

12/07/03 • Cincinnati, OH • Cincinnati Music Hall

12/08/03 • Detroit, MI • Opera House

12/09/03 • Pittsburgh, PA • Benedum Center

12/11/03 • Columbus, OH • Palace Theatre

12/12/03 • Cleveland, OH • Playhouse Square Center

12/13/03 • Indianapolis, IN • Murat Theatre

12/15/03 • Saint Louis, MO • Fox Theatre

12/16/03 • Chicago, IL • Chicago Theatre

12/17/03 • Chicago, IL • Chicago Theatre

12/19/03 • Buffalo, NY • Shea’s Perf. Arts Ctr.

12/20/03 • Boston, MA • Colonial Theatre

12/21/03 • Boston, MA • Colonial Theatre

12/22/03 • Wallingford, CT • Oakdale Theatre

12/23/03 • Philadelphia, PA • Kimmel Center

For more information on Harry Connick Jr. or to listen to an Internet stream of Harry for the Holidays, visit or his special holiday Web site

Originally Published