New Orleans’ own Armand St. Martin slated to perform piano during Jazz Fest Time 2014 at fundraising benefit for New Film Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker at Southport Hall in New Orleans
ARMAND ST. MARTIN, the popular New Orleans-styled piano player who follows in the legendary piano steps of Louisiana greats JAMES BOOKER, PROFESSOR LONGHAIR, HUEY “PIANO” SMITH, TUTS WASHINGTON, JERRY LEE LEWIS, MICKEY GILLEY, JELLY ROLL MORTON, DR. JOHN, AND ALLEN TOUSSAINT, performs tonight, April 29, 2014 at Southport Hall for a fundraising night of live piano-based music performances and film screenings, geared to help a new music film get off the ground about James Booker titled Bayou Maharajah: The Tragic Genius of James Booker by film director, Lily Keber.
This special event, designed to help raise funds for music licensing fees for Keber’s film, is produced by local powerhouse Jimmy Anselmo, the long time club owner of uptown’s Jimmy’s Club, and offers a screening of Bayou Maharajah, as well as a sneak preview of Anselmo’s own teaser film Trailer featuring his upcoming documentary about his career in New Orleans’ unique music scene.
A VIP party opens the special event evening at 5 pm-6 pm with live performances before and after the film screenings. Live music performances include an illustrious line-up with ARMAND ST. MARTIN, DAVELL CRAWFORD, J.D. HILL, and BOBBY LOVE, among other musicians, plus an array of special surprise musical guests. “Rumor has it that even Texas piano lady MARCIA BALL, award-winning legend ALLEN TOUSSAINT, and famous face HUGH LAURIE ’might show up’ while making their Jazz Fest rounds.”
“Booker piano nights were some of the best shows at Jimmy’s,” Anselmo reminisces.
Booker was a regular staple at Anselmo’s famous music hotspot, making it a given that Anselmo would produce this Booker film benefit.
St. Martin remembers “seeing Booker in concert many times and being influenced and impressed by Booker’s piano style.” St. Martin adds, “We were in the same music circles and I was inspired to incorporate Booker’s style into my original music, along with the other great New Orleans’ piano influences throughout my career.I can’t think of any show I’d rather be playing during Jazz Fest this year than this fundraiser created to further publicize Booker’s amazing talent. When Jimmy invited me to perform, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.A hands-on club owner, Jimmy has successfully promoted musicians for decades here in New Orleans and I’ve seen him consistently give 100% to everything he produces.”
Born James Carroll Booker, James Booker accelerated his life and death, succumbing at age 43 in 1983.Kebler’s film exposes the genius and insanity of this complex music madman through her own research, and through rediscovered Booker footage from places other than New Orleans. She gathered up personal stories of those who admired Booker’s music (like Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas), of those who knew him well, of those who loved his music as fans, and of those scholars and other fellow musicians who, with fine tooth combs, studied Booker’s musical prowess.
Keber was born in North Carolina, attended film workshops, and made her residence in New Orleans in 2007 after Katrina. As a bartender at Vaughn’s nightspot, she was introduced to Booker’s music and by local stories about him. A complete “unknown” to her own world, Booker’s saga began to intrigue her, eventually leading to her decision to take-on the making of Bayou Maharajah. Keber’s film received the 2013 Best Southern Film Award and the 2013 Special Jury Mention for a Louisiana Feature at the New Orleans Film Festival. The World Premiere was held at the SXSW Film Festival in 2013 and the film was also awarded the Winner of the 2013 Audience Award for a Louisiana Feature in the New Orleans Film Festival.
As a New Orleans piano player and singer-songwriting entertainer who is a 10th generation New Orleanian, Armand St. Martin performs 200 shows a year locally. Self-taught, he started his professional music career in New Orleans’ clubs when he was 16, and later “took all the musical theory offered at both Tulane and Loyola Universities as a young college student.” He studied Music for Dance at Wolftrap Academy for the Performing Arts, and Film Scoring on an ASCAP Scholarship at The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). He knew and studied piano greats like Booker and Professor Longhair, up-close and personal. St. Martin was awarded a “Proclamation from the New Orleans City Council for his Ongoing Musical Contributions to the City of New Orleans.”The Los Angeles Times writes, “Armand St. Martin is non-stop entertainment!” - P. L.
Tuesday night April 29, 2014
200 Monticello Avenue New Orleans,
LA 70121504 835 2903
VIP Party 5 pm-6 pm
Music Performances: 6 pm-7 pm
Film Screenings: 7 pm
Music Performances: after screenings, for remainder of evening
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