Professor Longhair (real name was Henry Roeland Byrd, 1918-1980) was a founder of this funky piano style, which he once described as a combination of rumba, mambo and Calypso. He had his career both as a soloist and as a member of various rhythm and blues bands. He taught another New Orleans legend, Dr John, who performs his version of "Tipitina" below
Dr John (real name is Malcolm John Rebennack, b. 1940) was born in New Orleans and began his musical career as a session musician in New Orleans in the 1950s. He originally concentrated on guitar before his left ring finger was injured by a gunshot. After the injury, Rebennack concentrated on bass guitar before making piano his main instrument. He gained fame beginning
in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with music that combined New Orleans-style rhythm and blues with psychedelic rock and elaborate stage shows that bordered on voodoo religious ceremonies, including elaborate costumes and headdress.
James Booker (1939-1983) was also influenced by Professor Longhair and explored a variety of popular songs, ranging from jazz standards to rock. Rather than playing tunes in their original idioms, he integrated this repertoire into a virtuosic style that combined elements of blues, boogie-woogie, gospel, stride, latin, and classical piano. Enjoy a performance of his own composition, "Pixie"