Giving Back: Local Musician Now Streaming Show to Reach More Seniors


(WPRI) – Earlier this month, we introduced you to a Rhode Island man using music to help bring joy to quarantined seniors.

Since our first story aired a few weeks ago, ‘Kalifornia Karl’ tells me he’s not only improved his performances, but he’s reaching even more seniors.

“Last week we streamed to 70 or 80 rooms in one facility. Everybody was on lockdown for 2 weeks they couldn’t come out of their rooms. This was the first time they could watch their entertainer myself, ‘Kalifornia Karl’ on the television.”

Streaming directly into residents rooms is a new way for Karl Detken to reach more people who can’t always leave their room.

In addition, he’s added new talent.

“I invited my sax friend and we call ourselves, “Ham & Cheese” because we ham it up and we’re extra cheesy and they absolutely love it.”

Karl Detken’s passion to bring live concerts to the elderly started after his mother became ill three years ago.

“Just bringing joy to these folks who are a lot of times often forgotten. A lot of times they don’t get visits too often and it’s been wonderful to have that mission or ministry. I think of it as a ministry to bring joy to people.”

Karl tells me he typically would perform 3 shows a day across New England and now it’s down to about one day since the Coronavirus outbreak, but he says that won’t stop him from bringing his music to those who need it the most.

We want to share your stories of kindness and compassion here on Eyewitness News. Send me your stories, you can email me at or find me on Facebook and Twitter and we would love to share your stories in the days ahead.

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