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Bayou Maharajah
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Bayou Maharajah

This film explores the life, times and music of piano legend James Booker, who Dr. John described as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." This roller coaster portrait traces Booker's life from his early years as a chart-topping child prodigy, to his starstudded years touring and playing as a sideman, through his outrageous solo career in America and Europe. First-person narrators lead the viewer through Booker's unbelievable onstage performances, occasionally in his underwear, dishing out drug-fueled conspiracy theories. Featuring interviews with the likes of Harry Connick Jr., Dr. John, Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, together with a generous helping of archival footage, the film brings to life the unforgettable story of this amazing musician.

BEST SOUTHERN FILM (Oxford American), BEST LOUISIANA FEATURE (New Orleans Film Festival), JURY MENTION (New Orleans Film Festival), GRAND JURY PRIZE (Fairhope Film Festival).

"Bayou Maharajah is a wonderful documentary - essential viewing for anyone who cares about James Booker, the city of New Orleans, music, people, life, love, art or death. There is comparatively little bass fishing in it though." -HUGH LAURIE

This "winning doc features a can't-miss subject and plenty of performance footage. 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." -Hollywood Reporter

Comments (6)

Anonymous picture

at 75 and late to performing Arif has inspired me to maintain the zeal and try to follow his softly treading style of musical appreciation and all that it offers.

Anonymous picture

good film about a great player

Anonymous picture

Loved it! what a musician, what a storied life!

Anonymous picture

what a talent! now i'm hooked on his music. such a loss to the musical community - but his work lives on. thanks for this incredible film on his life.

Anonymous picture

Awesome - thank you so so much for this documentary on this extraordinary talent. Grateful that you captured the voices and memories of those who knew him and valued him...and for capturing the insights from those who love his music and still try to grasp his genius.

Anonymous picture

This movie is amazing!!!