Music is medicine for Gorleston GP who is also a jazz musician

Dr Vince Forte, a GP, has played bass since he was 14.

Dr Vince Forte, a GP, has played bass since he was 14. - Credit: Archant

A jazz musician who is just at home behind a doctor's stethoscope as he is with a double bass will perform with bandmates in Great Yarmouth tomorrow night.

Dr Vince Forte, who has balanced a career in medicine with a lifelong passion for music, will be performing live at St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth with the band Showbitz.

The good doctor, who works as a general practitioner at Central Surgery in Gorleston, is the newest member of the well established local group and the latest show, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, is all about the L word.

Dr Forte has been playing piano since he was four and double bass since 14, but he is not taking his instruments on tour with band members Alison Peck, Julie Hewitt and David Rees.

'I'll be singing in the show so I'll have only my cumberbund to hide behind,' he said. The 51-year-old, who lives in Lowestoft, has played in bands since he was in medical school. He and partner Alison are also in the jazz group Ali's Cats. Music is a passion, but medicine has always come first.

'I wanted to be a doctor since I was four,' said Dr Forte.

'It was a life ambition. I did go through a phase in my teens of wanting to be a musician. It was my rebellious phase. My dad had pretty much given up on persuading me otherwise, but eventually I turned back to medicine.

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'Maybe I realised that musicians don't often do as well as doctors.'

There have been memorable moments through the years – while at university, Dr Forte played an impromptu gig with comic Griff Rhys Jones on drums and was once in a band with a television presenter Davina McCall.

'She was a 17-year-old secretary back then.'

'For me, music is something completely outside of work,' said Dr Forte.

'I only started singing about a year ago.

'In a band, you can relax because you're behind the instrument, but singing a solo on stage, it's just you and your voice.

'At rehearsals on the day of my first show at the Fisher Theatre in Bungay I had a gremlin. I was getting all the words mixed up. Thankfully, it all went well on the night. It was exhilarating.

'After my first solo, I came off stage and practically collapsed in the wings.'

Showbitz are currently touring Norfolk with shows in Diss and Sheringham lined up. Money raised will be donated to the East Coast Hospice.

For tickets to Can You Feel the Love Tonight, priced £10, call St George's on 01493 331484.