James Robert Murphy - Author, musician, artist

James Murphy earned a B.S. from the State University of New York with a concentration in Arts Management, and an M.A. from the University of Oklahoma in Administrative Leadership. He is the principle founding member of the New York State Blues Festival, serving as festival director from 1992-2003, and 2014-2015, and co-founded the Syracuse Guinness Irish Festival, serving as its festival director from 1999-2003. Both of these community events continue to be popular in Syracuse, NY. 

 

He and his family moved to El Paso, TX in 2004 where he first worked as managing director for El Paso Opera. He has been serving the City of El Paso as the director of development for the El Paso Museum of History since 2006.

 

Mr. Murphy has been a songwriter and performer since the early 1970s. A few songs from his box set, A History of Blues, can be heard on this site.

 

Mr. Murphy states, "Becoming an author was an unexpected opportunity that opened an entire universe of untapped exploration. In 2008, Arcadia Publishing blanketed the Southwest with proposals for their well known Images of America series. A beautiful series that focuses on historical aspects of "any town" America through a collection of photos. Each book contains approximately 200 black and white photos accompanied by a brief analysis of each. I was selected to write, El Paso: 1850-1950, and thus, the official book writing bug began. More than 8,000 photos were examined for the book. The entire project took one year from conception to the coffee table. El Paso: 1850-1950 is loved by teachers, students, established El Paso families and new arrivals to this region of the United States. It is available on this site, online through several sources and locally throughout El Paso. 

My follow-up, My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide: A Love Story, began as a series of short stories describing events that led to my nervous breakdown in the mid 1970s. As a new author I realized that in order to truly accomplish my personal goal of becoming a valid author (something I'm still working on), the storyline and characters would have to be fully dissected, redirected and exposed for all to see. Naturally, when I exposed the lives of others I revealed my personality more than I probably wish I had, but that is the price paid. When you try to be honest about your take on other people, your own weaknesses and insecurities emerge for all to inspect. While the title, My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide, certainly portrays an impending doom, the stories themselves, the memories of innocent youth before that tragic day, are quirky embellishments of an interesting upbringing in the rolling hills and valleys of Central New York. 

My two 2015 releases are My Favorite El Pasoans: Past and Present, and The Right to Kill. In 2017 I released, The South Franklin Trinity, and The Adult Stress Relief Book: I'm So Pissed Off. 

Accomplishments / Awards

    • Released My Favorite El Pasoans: Past and Present, released The Right to Kill, and released 2nd edition of My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide - A Love Story, all for BLBM Publishing
    • 2015 to present, President/Festival Director, El Paso Music Society, Inc.
    • 2013-2014, President/Festival Director, New York State Blues Festival
    • 2014, 1st Place, Worthy of Being Called Excellent, from the Book Publishers of El Paso for my embellished memoir, My Life Before I Decided To Commit Suicide, BLBM Publishing
    • 2014, 1st Place, Most Promising, from the Book Publishers of El Paso for, El Paso: 1850 -1950, Arcadia Publishing - Images of America
    • 2013, SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Award), Best Blues CD, A History of Blues
    • 2010, Co-edited El Hilo de la Memoria, Fresco Fine Arts Publications
    • 2009, Released, El Paso: 1850 -1950, Arcadia Publishing - Images of America
    • 2009, Founding member, El Paso Blues Society
    • 2009-2010, President, Los Paisanos de El Chamizal
    • 2004, Selfless Service to Music and the Arts, NYS Blues Festival
    • 2003, Keeping the Blues Alive – Best Promoter/Festival, the Blues Foundation, Memphis, TN 
    • 2001, 1999, 1997, People’s Choice Award, Best Festival, Syracuse New Times
    • 1998-2003, Founding member/Festival Director, Guinness Irish Festival, Syracuse, NY
    • 1996, SAMMY – Syracuse Area Music Award for Best Concert Event or Series, NYS Blues Festival
    • 1995, Service to the Arts, Cultural Resources Council of Syracuse and Onondaga County
    • 1992-2003, Principal founding member/Festival Director, New York State Blues Festival, Syracuse, NY

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James Robert Murphy

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