Bayou Maharaja: The Tragic Genius of James Booker

Left Col

2013, 90 min.

“Bayou Maharajah” explores the life, times, and music of piano legend James Booker, whom Dr. John described as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” Booker was an unparalleled musician whose eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle and isolation. Triply marginalized by his race, sexuality, and physical disability, he still managed to excel as a musician in New Orleans and Europe in the turbulent 1960s and ’70s, fusing secular, sacred, pop, and classical traditions in breathtaking new ways. A brilliant stylist of soaring imagination, Booker personified the agony of genius in a time of paradigmatic change. The Hollywood Reporter writes: “A must-see for aficionados of New Orleans jazz, it’s also accessible to viewers who don't know a Professor Longhair from a Dr. John.”


Right Col

Show Times
Sat, Nov 16th at 6:30pm

With director Keber and a Booker-inspired concert by New Orleans pianist Tom McDermott.

Sponsored by: 

Nancy & Ken Kranzberg