Music, Medicine, and Pieces In Between: Jazz and conversation with Dr. Alvin Crawford


Music, Medicine, and Pieces In Between: Jazz and conversation with Dr. Alvin Crawford

Date and Time

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Event Type

Special Event


Freedom Center Members $5, General public $10

Join Dr. Alvin Crawford as he sits down with medical student Abraham Araya for a chat about his life, career, obstacles and passion. Reception with CCM jazz quartet to follow.

The Bone Doctor's Concerto: Music, Surgery, and the Pieces in Between is the story of one of Cincinnati’s most influential leaders in medicine. Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1939, Dr. Alvin Crawford grew up and attended medical school in a segregated world. Beginning with his early life in Orange Mound—a self-contained community for freed slaves established in the 1890s—Crawford’s autobiography describes his flirtation with a music degree and time spent playing in jazz bands through the segregated South. In 1960, Crawford began his ground-breaking medical career with his entrance into the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, becoming the school’s first African American student. After completing his medical training and traveling the world as a surgeon for the Navy, Crawford found himself in Cincinnati, where he established the Comprehensive Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the first in the region.

Underlying this story are the systemic and very personal incidents of racism Crawford experienced throughout his career. His autobiography is a personal account of segregation, integration, ambition, hard work and taking risks.

5:30 p.m. Doors open
6:00 p.m. Program begins
7:00 p.m. Reception with CCM jazz quartet and book signing with Dr. Crawford

About the speakers

Dr. Alvin Crawford is professor emeritus at UC College of Medicine and world-renowned surgeon and expert in pediatric spinal deformities and neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder often associated with scoliosis. He also teaches jazz history at the UC Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and is a member of the UC alumni band and the Queen City Concert Band. Dr. Crawford’s career spans the US Navy, to several prestigious hospitals around the country before establishing the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital and Medical Center. The discipline, creativity, and focus required in surgery also kept him connected to his love of music, which remains a large part of his life today.

Abraham Araya is an MD-MPH candidate at the University of Cincinnati who connected with Dr. Crawford through Black Men in Medicine-Cincinnati. He is the son of Eritrean refugees and was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He earned his bachelor's degree at Cornell University in 2019 majoring Biology and Society with minors in German Studies, Inequality Studies, and Health and Nutrition. He came to Cincinnati in 2019 as a medical assistant for the Dermatology Group before applying and being accepted to the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. In his (limited) free time, he enjoys reading, volunteering, playing music, working out, spending time with loved ones, and reminding people to stay hydrated and exfoliated.

Posted in .