Michael Murphy a giant at capturing historic Jazz Fest moments

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NEW ORLEANS — Historic moments happen every year at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and while capturing these moments today is part of the production of the fest, we’ve got one man to thank for filling a lot of the video library of the history of the fest, Michael Murphy.

Murphy says, “I started shooting the fest back about 31 years ago and it was pretty non stop for about 15-20 years, and then back and forth a bit when I got with House of Blues and I was doing that stuff, too.”

After graduating from Loyola, he formed Michael Murphy Productions to handle documentary and music video projects.  Michael eventually became partner in the House of Blues franchise, and stayed with them for years, but eventually came back to shooting the fest after reforming his company.

Documenting the fest initially happened as a result of Murphy’s ambition.

“I was trying to find a way to break into the broadcast business and back then if you weren’t from New York or L.A., it was looked at as you weren’t someone that was looked at as professional,” said Murphy.

Murphy approached festival producer Quint Davis and financed his own shooting of the one stage that first year.  Murphy’s role eventually grew to securing broadcast and streaming of the fest to other parts of the world.

“We might have 400,000 or 500,000 people here at the festival but Michael, when you start broadcasting this stuff, is reaching millions of people around the world, and it’s been an important building block in not only building the festival but careers of our New Orleans artists,” Davis told us.

Murphy still runs Michael Murphy Productions and he, along with his business partner Cilista Eberle, are still busy producing music and documentary videos.


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