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Harry Connick, Jr., Big Easy musicians playing Governors' Ball

Feb 21, 2010 4:16pm
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(NECN: Washington, D.C.) - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will host the National Governors Association for the annual Governor's Ball on Sunday night.

Mrs. Obama gave a group of Washington-area music students a preview of the talent set to perform at the gala, led by Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Harry Connick, Jr.  He is known, apart from his music and acting, for the work he has done to help rebuild his hometown of New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

"No matter how bad the times are, as Mrs. Obama said, in the darkest times music will always get you through," Connick, Jr. said.

During his band's performance, Connick, Jr. brought on student up on stage to teach him When the Saints Go Marchin In, using the song to share his joy in New Orleans' Super Bowl XLIV victory.

Prior to the mini-show, Connick, Jr. thanked both Mr. and Mrs. Obama for writing personal checks to the Musicians' Village, part of the New Orleans Habitat for Humanity rebuilding effort following Katrina.  It provides homes for the city's musicians, preserving the rich musical tradition of the Big Easy.

"Imagine a city that didn't have its music; it's sort of like a person who didn't have its soul," Mrs. Obama said, noting the efforts undertaken by Connick, Jr. in conceiving the idea of the Musicians' Village as a way to preserve New Orleans' soul.  "For that, we are very grateful for you, Harry."

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