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Savannah jazz musician a hit with fans and patients

SAVANNAH - For the past two weeks, people across the Hostess City have been serenaded by the sounds of the Savannah Music Festival.

The annual 17 day spring-time festival is the largest musical arts event in Georgia.  And, News 3 is featuring one Savannah musician whose become a crowd favorite with the fans....and his patients.

Savannah Music Fest showcases the talent of hundreds of the world's finest musical artists every year. Some are full time professional musicians -- others are moonlighting, like Savannah Doctor Calvin Barnes.

He takes center stage to showcase the power of music.  Dr. Barnes is a radiologist by day...but he says his passion is music.

"I love them equally because they fulfill different parts of myself, there's a part of me that is really interested in giving back and helping people, and part of me that is really passionate about health," says Dr. Calvin Barnes, Radiologist, "but my passion, my heart and my inner voice is music."

His heart and inner voice ultimately led Barnes to master the tenor sax, but his first love was the piano.

"My grandmother and my mom used to sit down and watch the soap operas...Days of our Lives, and I could hear those theme songs and I would just start going to the piano that was in my grandmother's house and start playing them."

His family nurtured that talent and it grew even into college and throughout medical school at Yale University.

"My initial plan was I was going to be a chemist, do that by day, and do jazz at night, that was my initial idea, but I struggled when I was in college it was very hard to try and do two degrees at one time," he says.

But, with some help from his mentor, Barnes managed to finesse the two, and after medical school, it wasn't long before the Doctor of Jazz found his way to Savannah and began to practice medicine.

Reporter: "What do your patients think when they hear that you are also this great musician?  

"Oh they love it, they love it, I actually see some of them out when I'm performing, " he says.

Barnes says it's the love of music that connects him to his patients, in a rather unusual way.

"Usually when I walk in the room, and I think the hardest thing is, trying to establish a relationship with someone quickly, in my field, you know, hi, my name is this, and I'm going to stab you with this needle!  So, lot of my ice breakers involve music"

So, whether it's in his clinic, or on stage -- Barnes says he'll continue to intertwine his love for music and medicine right here in the Hostess City.



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