Skip to content
In accordance with the recent mandate from Oregon Governor Kate Brown, masks are required during Open-Air Cinema at OMSI. Masks continue to be required for all staff and visitors at the Portland Art Museum, including Venice VR Expanded.

Directed by John Anderson

United States 2015 90 mins.

The man some call “the greatest drummer of all time” is mostly recognized for his signature double-shuffle beat—but is almost as famous for the capes, crowns, canes and cowbells that are the stuff of his legend. Sam Lay has played a key role in the evolution of blues music for almost 60 years; he was on drums when Bob Dylan went electric at Newport, was a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and spent decades in the studio and on the road with blues greats such as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton. And, at 80 years old, Lay is still an active part of the Chicago blues scene. Anderson tells this remarkable story through Lay’s own words, music, and home movies, and features interviews with past bandmates including Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, and James Cotton.



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.