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Directed by Lily Keber

United States 2013 90 mins. In English

The Ivory Emperor, the Black Liberace, Lil Booker, Little Chopin in Living Color…James Carroll Booker III. 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. With never-before-seen concert footage, rare personal photos, and exclusive interviews, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.