Bayou Maharajah explores the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker, the man Dr. John described as “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced.” A brilliant pianist, his eccentricities and showmanship belied a life of struggle, prejudice, and isolation. Illustrated with never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius.
We will be joined by Henry Botham, professional pianist for a short performance in the cinema before and after this screening.
Henry Botham, pianist with 52 Skidoo and The Nightcreatures, is one of the UK’s leading exponents of New Orleans piano and a lifelong student of James Booker’s music. He will be playing a range of Booker classics as well as other material reinterpreted in the style of the Bayou Maharajah.