I’ve been trying to read as much as I can about the UAE and Abu Dhabi, because I believe that it’s respectful to learn as much as you can about a new culture before arriving there, said Harry Connick Jr. Image Credit: Supplied

Harry Connick Jr - he of the smooth crooner's voice, bright baby blues and soft New Orleans drawl - is coming to the capital to perform his first concert in the Middle East at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) on Sunday.

tabloid! caught up with the multi-talented artist (he plays the piano and has acted in many Hollywood films, the latest being New in Town with Renée Zellweger) over the phone at his home in New York. We chatted, among other things, about travelling to the region, the latest inspirations for his new album, Your Songs, and his daughter following his musical footsteps.

"I'm really excited that I'm coming to Abu Dhabi. I love to travel, especially to places I have never been before. My agent and management always knew that I wanted to come to the region, but putting on tours is complicated, especially to places I've never performed in before," Connick Jr said.

"I've been trying to read as much as I can about the UAE and Abu Dhabi, because I believe that it's respectful to learn as much as you can about a new culture before arriving there."

Ever the intrepid traveller, Connick Jr already has plans on what he hopes to accomplish when arrives in the capital.

"I'd love to see the real Abu Dhabi, something that the tourists don't see… I hope that I can spend some time and explore, because I'd be disappointed if I miss out. If I was travelling to a place I performed before, like Sydney, I wouldn't be upset or frustrated if I had missed out because I've already seen its sights and I know what it has to offer to visitors," the Grammy winner explained.

Connick Jr, who is happily married to Jill Goodacre, a former Victoria's Secret model, is the proud father of three daughters, Georgia Tatum, 14, Sarah Kate, 13, and Charlotte, 8.

"My middle daughter, Kate, likes to sing and perform. If she wants to continue down that path, I would definitely encourage her and if she wanted to do something else, then that's fine as well. But if she's serious about music, then I'd encourage her to learn it professionally," Connick Jr said.

"My family has travelled with me before, which is great because they help me see things from a different perspective and do things I wouldn't usually do if I was travelling alone. Unfortunately, they won't be able to come to Abu Dhabi."


When the interview turned to his latest album, Your Songs, Connick Jr revealed how his musical world has evolved since his first, self-titled, album, which was released in 1987.

"As I get older I get less inspired… instead, my own style comes out. But I can't really define it yet. It's just something that's a result of years of studying, playing and performing," he said.

What can we expect from him at his concert?

"I like to mix it up, some nights I play a certain style the next, slightly different. I like to think of it [my concerts], if I had a part every night of the week, I like to provide something different instead of the same show every time. Plus, the band I perform with are phenomenal. The audience is definitely going to be treated to a unique show."

Like every visitor to a new country, Connick Jr is keen on finding his own version of souvenir to take back home.

"I like to collect musical instruments as souvenirs. I have things like an Australian didgeridoo, but I can't remember them all at the moment. Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up a traditional instrument when I visit," he said.


Harry Connick Jr live in concert on Sunday at Adnec. Ticket prices start from Dh 395 and are available at Virgin Megastores.