Terry McGraw started playing piano at age six, and continued his music studies into his college years. He began writing music and playing with various jazz combos and big bands in high school. He continued to play with occasional combos throughout college and medical school. As a practicing pediatrician and pediatric anesthesiologist, Terry continued to perform solo and with small groups for restaurants, lounges and institutional events.
Since coming to Oregon Health & Science University in 1993, Terry has been able to combine music and medicine. He has produced music for several videos, including a pediatric simulation CD-ROM for the Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. In addition, in collaboration with some of the Northwest’s finest jazz artists, he has produced two jazz CDs to benefit the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
The first CD, Rearranged, was released in 1995 and included 10 tunes, nine of which were written by Terry. A quartet, including Terry on piano and synthesizers, recorded the pieces mostly in a studio.
Of Rearranged: “McGraw has put out one of the best local jazz albums of the year. . . keyboard work is facile and engaging, but the songs are the most impressive aspect of this project. The strength of McGraw’s melodies is such that several songs become stuck in one’s mind after just one listen. Virtually every song comes across as an old friend visiting after a long absence.” —Dan Deprez, Willamette Week (Portland)
The latest, Come What May, was produced in 2004 and raised thousands of dollars for the Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Pain Management Center. He approached this project differently, serving more as writer, arranger and producer. Again, Terry wrote the majority of the tracks, but incorporated 10 musicians in the recording. He received help from Portland jazz station KMHD 89.1 FM in promoting the completed album, which was distributed on the Allegro Music label.
Of Come What May: “McGraw shows considerable skill . . . on keyboard, production and as composer.” —Portland Jazz critic Kyle O’Brien
McGraw has also used his musical expertise to benefit the community as a member of Portland’s Old Library Studio board for the past two years. This non-profit organization aims to inspire and educate young artists using the tools of digital technology. After-school and summer programs offer teens the opportunity to learn and experience a music-technology classroom and recording studio.
Terry McGraw has retired from medicine after 30 years, and now plans to focus on his music. Terry will have more shows in the Northwest in the coming months, so please check back to keep informed of the dates. All proceeds go to benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Pain Management Program.