Deano set to sing his heart out for Dementia

Kalvin Kyle who performs as Deano will be taking to the stage at St George's Theatre on Friday night

Kalvin Kyle who performs as Deano will be taking to the stage at St George's Theatre on Friday night.The Norwich labourer was so good he was offered his own show by the venue. - Credit: Archant

A labourer turned singer has “found his calling” after discovering his voice and the power of music as a trigger to memory.

Kalvin Kyle who performs as ‘Deano’ is taking to the stage at his biggest ever gig at St George’s Theatre on Friday.

Although few have heard of him and he is only just beginning to build a following the Norwich father-of-three has sold over 70 tickets and is stunned by the response.

He said it all started in a Sheringham care home when his dad was dying of cancer, just over a year ago.

As a surprise he planned to belt out some of his father’s favourite numbers from the era of Swing when the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin topped the charts.

When the time came around 35 residents, most of whom were living with various stages of dementia, were assembled for the show - the first time Deano had sang anywhere other than his back bedroom at home in Eaton.

Afterwards he was stunned by their reaction and the general effect on everyone’s mood - one lady reportedly speaking for the first time in years to ask when he was coming back.

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Now spurred on by the enthusiasm of others and the restorative effect of music on people with dementia he regularly sings in care homes and is a passionate advocate for Dementia Friends.

He said people with the disease were still able to appreciate music, especially favourite tunes from their past, helping them to connect with other people in the present.

Having played at the Great Yarmouth Arts Festival and for St George’s in their outdoor performance area he was asked to do his own show.

To add variety he is also bringing an Everly Brothers tribute act and hopes to screen moving and motivating footage relating to dementia care during the interval.

He said: “I am doing something that I enjoy, that gives joy, elevates the mood and helps people to become more communicative. What are we without our memories? At every gig I do I say ‘Somebody here knows somebody with dementia and some of us are going to get it’. People are going to hear some old songs they have not heard for a while that I have found to be very effective. It’s a bit of fun and the whole point is to raise awareness.”

The show starts at 7.30pm, tickets £11 and £9. Booking via 01493 331484.