2010 Ponderosa Stomp
Clandestine Celluloid Film Series

24th & 25th of September One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans, Louisiana

“Bayou Maharajah” (dir. Lily Keber, work in progress, 2010, 30 min)
Friday, September 24th, 11:30 am

Bayou Maharajah, Ponderosa Stomp Music Conference 2010

This is a special sneak preview of the feature-length documentary-in-progress about the life and music of New Orleans’ piano legend, James Booker. Through interviews with friends and contemporaries, the film traces Booker’s life from child prodigy to his acclaimed work as session pianist, his solo career and infamous personal life to his early death and continuing legacy. Illustrated with archival concert footage, still photos and promotional material, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius. The soundtrack brings to life Booker’s distinct style and includes his early R&B hits, his genre-defying medleys, and the ‘spiders on the keys’ complexity of his music.

Filmmaker Lily Kleber and longtime Booker associate Bunny Matthews will be in attendance to discuss the ongoing project – and James Booker – after the screening.

Lily Keber

Lily Keber got her start in filmmaking in Athens, Georgia while taking Jim Herbert's famed Super 8 class. After graduating the University of Georgia with a BFA in Fabric Design and Film Studies, Lily spent the summer of 2005 learning filmmaking hands-on in Europe and continued to hone her filmmaking and teaching skills at the acclaimed media collective Appalshop. and served as audio and video trainer with the NEA-sponsored Appalachian Media Institute. In the fall of 2006, Lily relocated to her new home of New Orleans, La. She has worked on a variety of locally produced documentaries, including N.O. Justice, Land of Opportunity: The New New Orleans (to be broadcast on ARTE in Europe) and Turkey Creek. In the summer of 2007, Lily's turned her lens to the Department of Homeland Security's policy of family detention. Along with partner Matthew Gossage, Lily shot and edited Hutto: America's Family Prison and created the first blog devoted to this policy. A community activist and arts educator, Lily continues to balance her personal documentary work with her belief in the democratizing power of community media. Bayou Maharajah is her first feature-length documentary.