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Paul Simon, Harry Connick together on NCHS stage

Published 4:02 pm, Friday, August 30, 2013

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  • Harry Connick Jr. will perform with Paul Simon on Sept. 29 at New Canaan High School in a benefit concert. Photo: Contributed
    Harry Connick Jr. will perform with Paul Simon on Sept. 29 at New Canaan High School in a benefit concert. Photo: Contributed

 

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Paul Simon and Harry Connick Jr. will appear together on the same stage on Sunday, Sept. 29, at New Canaan High School in a gala that will pay tribute to New Canaan's first responders and benefit Staying Put.

The concert will take place at 4 p.m.

Both entertainers are longtime New Canaan residents, as are the co-hosts of the event, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and his daughter, Allison, who stars in the HBO series "Girls."

The evening will benefit Staying Put New Canaan, a nonprofit organization that allows senior citizens to live in their own homes with community support on many levels. Staying Put New Canaan has chosen to dedicate the evening to honoring New Canaan's first responders -- police, fire, emergency medical services and the Community Emergency Response Team -- who work hand-in-hand with Staying Put and are the town's first line of defense in assisting its citizens.

"This may be the largest single collection of star power in the town's history," said Brian Williams. "Concert-goers around the world have lined up to see Paul Simon and Harry Connick Jr., but never at the same time, under one roof.

"All of us have one central thing in common: we live here and have raised families here, and Staying Put allows folks to stay here, stay in their homes, as old age approaches and as pressures mount to move elsewhere for long-term care."

Simon, an American music icon for decades, first burst on the scene as half of Simon and Garfunkel in 1964. He is regarded as one of the great American songwriters of all time, and his work has earned him 12 Grammy Awards. His music and lyrics have helped to form the soundtrack of American life in the modern era.

Connick has sold 25 million albums worldwide. A proud son of New Orleans, he has popularized the music from the region in his work as a jazz musician, arranger, composer and band leader. He's also a veteran film, Broadway and television actor, including the popular NBC series "Will and Grace."

For the Williams family, the evening will be a multi-generational affair. Allison is a third-generation New Canaanite. The actress, singer and improv performer attended New Canaan Country School and went on to graduate from Yale in 2010. She has just completed filming for season three of the HBO Series "Girls," which was awarded a Golden Globe for season two.

Allison's grandparents, Hudson and Patricia Stoddard, have been active New Canaan residents for more than five decades. Hudson is a former head of the New Canaan Board of Education and Patricia is among the founding members of Staying Put New Canaan. Their daughter, Jane Stoddard Williams, host of the Bloomberg EDU weekly radio broadcast on Bloomberg Radio, was in the first graduating class of the New Canaan High School in its present location.

Brian Williams has a special interest in paying tribute to New Canaan's first responders. He is a former volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in his native New Jersey. He has received 12 Emmy Awards, 11 Edward R. Murrow Awards, the Columbia DuPont Award and the Peabody Award. Both he and Simon have been named to the Time 100 list of the most influential Americans.

For information or tickets, call Staying Put New

Canaan at 203-966-7762.