James Booker grew up splitting time between New Orleans and Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. This weekend, 100 Men Hall, a Black energy center that hosted legendary musicians as part of the Chitlin Circuit, will host the second annual Booker Fest, a fundraiser for the hall. For decades, 100 Men Hall provided a safe place for the African American community of Bay St. Louis and surrounding areas to gather. Today, a nonprofit raises funds to preserve and maintain 100 Men Hall, one of the few standing buildings on the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Booker Fest is designed to bring awareness to one of the town’s most gifted artists who played all around the Bay and on the historic stage at the 100 Men Hall. Booker Fest will include a night with Joe Ashlar's organ trio, a morning gospel tribute by the esteemed The Collective and an afternoon piano tribute by two of New Orleans piano greats, Josh Paxton and Tom Worrell, followed by spoken word artist Sunni Patterson, singer songwriter Sunny War, and Booker plus tunes spun by DJ T Swan, plus a screening Lily Keber’s acclaimed documentary on Booker, Bayou Maharajah. The weekend will end with a Drag Brunch by Catastrophe, Zamareyah, Latonia, and Misty in Booker's honor. Sound by Jesse Loya.
Full details and tickets can be found at the100menhall.com.
Booker Fest Schedule
Friday, Dec 3
7-9pm Joe Ashlar Organ Trio
Saturday, Dec 4
11am-12pm The Collective on 100 Men Hall's historic stage
12:30-2pm Booker piano tribute performed by Josh Paxton and Tom Worrell
2:30-3:30pm Spoken Word - Sunni Patterson
4-6pm Sunny War
6:30-8:30pm DJ T Swan
Sunday, Dec 5
10am-1pm Booker Drag Brunch with Catastrophe, Zamareyah, Latonia, and Misty