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Camay Murphy, 81 years young

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Baltimore Times

Camay Murphy is 81 years old, born January 15, 1927. She has brought Baltimore history to life, dedicating her great imagination and organizational talent to encouraging the youth of Baltimore to use their talent in music to enrich the cultural and musical traditions of the African-American community. In her career as an educator, Camay has worked tirelessly to help children in their music career.

She is the daughter of legendary jazz musician Cab Calloway. She earned a B.A. from New York University and was hired as a teacher at Burgundy Farm County Day School in Alexandria Virginia. She later spent two years as headmaster at the Mayflower School in Ikenne, Nigeria before returning to teach in Arlington, Virginia in 1963. Camay was a supervisor of Arlington Public Schools, a position she held for a decade. Under her leadership the school was recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for its outstanding standardized achievement scores, jazz program and renowned arts program.

Murphy moved to Baltimore in 1994 to work as a cultural development consultant at Coppin State College. She founded the Cab Calloway Jazz Institute and Museum, paying tribute to her famous father, while also promoting music education. She is married to the famous photographer and journalist, John Murphy III and they have two sons with him.

Now retired as the chairperson of the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center just last year, she is still very active in the community by being on the following Boards; Eubie /Blake Advisor Board, Baltimore Jazz Alliance, Young Audiences of Maryland, CCAMA, The Black/Jewish Form of Baltimore as President, State Fine Arts Advisory Panel, Baltimore City Gifted and Talented Education Advisory Committee, School Improvement Team-Booker T Middle School, Co-Chair Heritage Area Commission, Baltimore City Social Clubs include PALS, Pierians (African-American Women Arts Org., and Precious Collection.

“I am also a member of St. Cecelia’s Guild (the patron St of Music) St. James Episcopal Church and I am part of a working committee to establish PS 103 as a memorial to Thurgood Marshall. For the past two years I have been working on the CAB 100 project which has included a traveling exhibit on the life of Cab Calloway as well as a Cotton Club Review to be held at Hebrew Congregation on June 1 with big band, dancers, singers; Klezmer Group and lots of historical information. That’s about it! I have also been doing lots of research on Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to do a presentation for the Women in Jazz Project”, she says with a smile on her face. Camay is a non-stop working machine for the community as she works from her heart and soul at age 81. She concluded, I am blessed.”

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Written by Symphony

May 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm

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