Kate Connick, age 13, has had music in her life for as long as she can remember. She lives in the New York area, but she has spent lots of time in New Orleans, a music-filled city that is her dad’s (world-renowned musician and actor Harry Connick, Jr.) childhood home and the place where he learned to play the piano. She loves the city like it’s her own hometown.
She leads a pretty typical life. While her days are filled with school, she also enjoys playing lacrosse, ice hockey and basketball, hanging out with friends, and of course, listening to music. But here’s the notable difference: Kate Connick has also recorded and performed with her famous father, making her debut at the tender age of 10 singing backup vocals on the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland” on her dad’s 2008 release, What a Night! A Christmas Album.
But, today she is stepping forward and taking the lead.
Singing a new song, “A Lot Like Me”, penned by her father and inspired by Céclie Rey and Marie-Grace Gardner, two new fictional American Girl characters who form a bond of friendship across the boundaries of class and race in 19th Century New Orleans, Kate’s song shows girls the importance of looking within to find the true meaning of friendship. “ ‘A Lot Like Me’ is a really fun song with such a good message—just like the books about Cécile and Marie-Grace. It’s about knowing that it doesn’t matter what skin color you have or what religion you follow—what’s inside is what’s important,” said Kate. “I have friends who have different backgrounds. They come from different places, so this means something to me. I’m just so happy that I get to be a part of it.”
Available exclusively on iTunes August 2, 2011, all proceeds from song downloads will benefit after-school programming at the newly constructed Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in New Orleans. “My dad has told me how we needed to get all the musicians back together [after Hurricane Katrina]. We’ve got to keep the music going to help New Orleans. When I found out that I’d be able to help, I wanted to have a part in it,” Kate explains. Located in the heart of Musicians’ Village in the Upper Ninth Ward, the center provides classrooms, rehearsal space, a recording studio, and a state-of-the-art performance hall. Most importantly, the center ensures that the New Orleans sound will live on, and as Kate notes, “kids can learn from music legends.”
An “American Girl” in her own right, Kate Connick reminds us all of the importance of friendship, community and the impact one person can make.