I've made it! I've arrived! I know what it feels like to be on the cusp of something small, again. Of course, this is true and false at the same time. I've made it big before, but only to a small degree. I came up with the idea to start a blues festival in Syracuse, NY back in 1990 after attending the Chicago Blues Festival. It finally got underway in 1992. It took a lot of dedicated people to pull that thing off. I successfully managed it from 1992-2003. It won a bunch of awards and we brought a ton of incredible blues artists to town. The budget increased from about $7,000 to $320,000. It was incredible. That was a huge achievement. I also played a role in the founding of the Guinness Irish Festival, also in Syracuse, NY. I managed it for 5 years. It is held in September - the halfway point to St. Paddy's Day. No lie, Syracusans would drink 170 full kegs of Guinness, Harp, and Mich light in 17 hours.


I moved to El Paso in 2004 to be closer to my wife's family. I took a position as the managing director for El Paso Opera. I was very lucky to have gotten this position and I truly loved it, but unfortunately for everyone, it only lasted fourteen months. The story of the opera could be a book in itself.

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James Robert Murphy

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