BAY ST. LOUIS: 100 Men Hall w/Booker Fest… Labor Day Weekend 2022

100 Men Hall
Bay St. Louis, MS

August 1, 2022

Rachel Dangermond
Cell: 415.336.9543


Bay Saint Louis, MS – The 100 Men Hall hosts its third annual Booker Fest to
celebrate the musical genius of James Booker on Friday, September 2 thru
Sunday, September 4, 2022. The festival is Bay Saint Louis’ own music festival
with top musicians and performers, food trucks and a drag brunch!
James Carroll Booker III (December 17, 1939 – November 8, 1983) was a New
Orleans rhythm and blues keyboardist born in New Orleans, LA and raised by an
aunt in Bay St Louis where he attended St. Rose de Lima and learned classical
piano. Booker's unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Musician Dr. John described Booker as "the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie
piano genius New Orleans has ever produced." The gifted artist played on the
historic stage of 100 Men Hall and throughout the Bay.
The September weekend will include a night with Joe Krown Trio, a
morning gospel tribute by St. Rose de Lima, a piano tribute to Booker led by two
of New Orleans piano greats, Josh Paxton and Joe Ashlar, followed by spoken
word artist Sunni Patterson, then the award winning voice of Quiana Lynell and
her band, a good time with comedian Rita Brent, all while screening Lily Keber’s
acclaimed documentary on Booker, Bayou Maharajah, AND ending the weekend
with an outrageous Drag Brunch by Catastrophe, Zamareyah, Latonia and Misty
in Booker's honor. Sound by Jesse Loya.
Rachel Dangermond, owner of 100 Men Hall, credits the support of multiple
sponsors for Booker Fest’s production, “The 100 Men Hall is grateful to our long
time major sponsor, the Silver Slipper Casino, with additional sponsorship from
Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area, Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty,
as well as donations from Ann Madden Photography, Hollywood Casino, Cathead
Distillery, and Shoofly Magazine. Their support is making this event possible.”

James Booker was born James Carroll Booker III on December 17, 1939, in New
Orleans, and was influenced by his church and Baptist minister parents and
grandparents, who played piano. Booker was a child prodigy who loved classical
music (especially Bach) and part of his amazing skill lay in an ability to blend a
Rachmaninoff tune with a rolling blues piano riff. After his father became ill
during Booker’s early childhood, he and his sister Betty Jean were sent to live
with his aunt in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.
Opening the event on Friday night will be the Joe Krown Trio – Krown is a
resident of New Orleans with a home in Pass Christian. He is a New Orleans-
styled piano and Hammond B-3 player. He has played the New Orleans Jazz and
Heritage every year since 2001 and the French Quarter Festival every year since
1998. From September 1996 to June 2001, Joe held the Traditional Piano Night
slot at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans, which was once occupied by James
Booker. After the untimely passing of the legendary great Allen Toussaint
in November 2015, Joe was selected to fill the maestro's chair by playing
piano with Toussaint's band backing up greats like Bonnie Raitt, Aaron
Neville, Irma Thomas, Dr. John and more at the 2016 New Orleans Jazz
Fest, Hollywood Bowl, Midsummer swing at Lincoln Center and more. He has
played the WWOZ Piano Night every year since 1996 to current and has been the
producer of Piano Night since 2017. He has led a trio with Walter Wolfman
Washington since 2007. Krown has toured with Mavis Staples, Allen Toussaint,
North Mississippi All-Stars, Charlie Musselwhite and many more and toured in
over 50 countries as either a member of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band,
Clarence Gatemouth Brown Band or as the featured artist. Listen:

Saturday’s lineup includes:
St. Rose Gospel Choir – Considered the best Southern Gospel choir in the
region, the St. Rose choir was already a Bay Saint Louis institution when James
Booker played there. Several members sang when Booker played in the choir. The
choir has been featured in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage
Josh Paxton – In a city known for its piano players, Josh Paxton stands out
from the crowd. By combining New Orleans' deep piano traditions with modern
jazz twists, classical technique, and a funky rhythmic drive, he creates a unique
and memorable style that led Dr. John to describe him as "[freakin'] blessed."
Josh moved from his native Ohio to New Orleans in his early 20s to study with
jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis. After earning his degree, he quickly found himself in
demand as a solo performer and sideman, playing solo sets at festivals in and out
of town, and touring and recording with such diverse acts as the Wild Magnolias,
Li'l Queenie, the Cosmic Krewe, Maria Muldaur, and Bruce Hornsby. And by
doing the first written transcriptions of the music of piano legends Professor
Longhair and James Booker, he solidified his reputation as a serious scholar of
the city's musical heritage. Listen:

Joe Ashlar – Pianist and organist Joe Ashlar has been performing music
professionally around the US and internationally since age ten. He has studied
with Barry Harris, Dave Santoro, Bruce Barth and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Joe his a
regular on the New Orleans music scene, playing Hammond organ for music
legend Dr. John. In addition, he stays busy with studio work, and locally can be
seen with many notable artists, including Stanton Moore, Johnny Vidacovich,
George Porter Jr., Donald Harrison, Steve Masakowski, Eric Lindell, Bonerama,
Good Enough for Good Times, Papa Mali, Corey Henry, and Evan Christopher.
These musical experiences also earned him a nomination for Offbeat Magazine's
2017 Best of the Beat Awards in the "Best piano/keyboardist" category. His music
has been featured on national television, including CBS, BET on Jazz, and MTV.
Joe also spends time writing original music, having composed the score for Brian
Berkowitz's first short film, “Secret Transit Codes.” Listen:

Sunni Patterson – New Orleans Native and Visionary, Sunni Patterson, is an
internationally acclaimed Poet, Performer, Workshop Facilitator, Certified
Spiritual Life Coach/Consultant, and an Initiated Priestess and Minister. She
began her career as a full-time high school Teacher, and much of her life since
has been devoted to serving as a Cultural Worker and Activist. Armed with an
engaging story and voice, Sunni deliberately uses art, poetry, and praise
(Ancestral remembrance) to encourage dialogue, connectivity, spiritual
awareness, and healing. Listen:
Quiana Lynell – A full-range vocal southern belle who hails from Texas but has
planted her musical roots in that jazz haven called New Orleans, is that next great
singer that you’ll be hearing about. The power and electric intensity that Lynell
brings to the stage in a live performance as she brought to the table at the 2019
Playboy Jazz Festival, is a page taken straight from the great singer playbook. She
ripped it. A protegee of jazz master Terence Blanchard, Lynell is what you would
call a storyteller through song. Growing up on gospel music and being influenced
by Fitzgerald and Vaughan, Lynell took her big-sounding voice and has made
good use of it. Listen:
Rita Brent – Rita Brent is a comedian, musician, and military veteran from
Jackson, Mississippi. She discovered her love for music as a young girl
performing in talent shows and southern Baptist churches as a drummer
alongside her mother and singer-pianist, Angela. She credits her mother as the
one who helped cultivate and support her talents. At age 18, she joined the 41st
Army National Guard Band where she served for nine years and ended her time
in service as a sergeant. Rita graduated from her beloved HBCU, Jackson State
University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass and Speech Communication, and
pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Listen:
Sunday will feature the 100 Men Hall's favorite and most talented drag queens –
Miss Catastrophe Nicole Knight, Zamareyah Dawn, Misty Bordeaux Knight, and

Latonia Love. Booker loved to dress up in flamboyant costumes and often wore a
wig. He would joke or flirt with a guy in the audience while playing. He would
engage in lengthy dialogues with the audience – or lecture or even scold it. He
was a consummate performer, cross dresser, and musical genius.
Screening in the VIP room throughout the Fest, is a documentary directed by Lily
Keber, Bayou Maharajah chronicles the life and music of this colorful,
troubled figure, legendary in New Orleans but obscure elsewhere. The film
features extensive performance and interview footage of Booker, who died in
1983 at age 44. “I’ve got some blues that contains old soul with new wrinkles,” the
pianist says in a clip featured in the trailer, perhaps referencing the way his style
seamlessly incorporated classical, jazz and gospel.
In his 20s, Booker worked with the touring bands of B.B. King and Aretha
Franklin and in 1970, mysterious trouble led Booker to lose his left eye;
afterwards he began to don an iconic eye patch. Attendees will be able to
purchase Booker Fest merch, a signed limited edition posters, as well as Booker
Fest eye patches created by artist Ann Madden and Booker Fest earrings and
night lights by Darrin Butler at the Fest.
Throughout the weekend, attendees will have the opportunity to purchase food:
Friday – Coasty Food Truck, Saturday – Burger Box, Sunday – Makin Groceries.
In addition to purchase of non-alcoholic beverages, fest attendees will have the
opportunity to purchase, Cathead Vodka specialty batch Booker Bliss, Lazy
Magnolia and other beer, wine, and spirit (pints) set ups at the 100 Men Hall bar.
Tickets for each of the weekend events as well as a wrist band allowing entry to
ALL events can be purchased online at and available at Will
Call throughout the weekend. Tickets and wristbands purchased at the door
during the event will be priced higher and based on availability.

Booker Fest Schedule
Friday, Sep 2
7-9PM Joe Krown Trio – $30
Saturday, Sep 3 – All events – $55

11-12PM St. Rose Gospel on 100 Men Hall's historic stage
12:30-2PM Booker piano tribute performed by New Orleans piano greats

Josh Paxton and Joe Ashlar

2:30-3:30PM Spoken Word – Sunni Patterson
4-6PM Quiana Lynell and Trio
6:30-8:30 – Rita Brendt Comedy
Sunday, Sep 4

10-1PM – Booker Drag Brunch with
Catastrophe, Zamareyah, Latonia & Misty


Booker Fest Weekend Wristbands – $85

The historic 100 Men Hall is a 501c3 nonprofit organization (Hundred Members
Debating Benevolent Association), supported by tax deductible donations.
Additional information about the venue’s history and other activities can be
found on or by emailing

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