About Us

Tribe of Doris brings together artists and audiences to share a fireside, creating spaces for all people to share, learn and be joyful. Our globally-inspired gatherings celebrate music, dance, creativity and wellbeing, giving way to your sense of wonder and leading you back to your roots. The Doris community shares a passion for the power of coming together with our brothers and sisters from around the world. We host a yearly festival in Leicestershire, as well as other events and activities throughout the UK and beyond.

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Our Story

Tribe of Doris was born on the wave of djembe drumming and dance that came to the UK in the late ’80s. It was sparked by a chance encounter at a small festival between Mussa Suma, Baba Adesose Wallace, Ayo Dele Scot, Jahman Aggrey and Deasy Bamford. They sang, danced, and drummed around a huge fire all night long. By dawn, the idea of Doris had begun to kindle. The idea was simple: to create a gathering with drumming and culture at the heart. Not on a stage to be witnessed, but living and breathing in and amongst the people. Mirroring ways in which African communities have expressed their cultures for millennia. Gathering drummers, dancers and like-minded souls, Deasy Bamford and Siobhan Kierans founded the first Doris drum convention, held at Almondsbury Scout Camp in the early 90s with 75 participants. The rain was torrential but it could not dampen the spirit that was being reborn. Melodies and rhythms from all around the world coming together, driven by the energy of the people.

 

As time passed, artists from all over heard about the tribe and wanted to come and teach; to be a part of this unique and special place. The intercultural summer school moved from Shepton Mallet to the Blackdown Hills in Devon but continued developing its core, working with new and varied artists and deepening creative connections. In 2015, after a 4-year break, it returned to Stanford Hall in the heart of England, energised by a new management team who knew they could not let something so special fade away.

 

Doris has always and continues to be a labour of love. A meeting of minds, given life by the diverse and unique people that make up our community. There are so many people that have played a role in Doris’ longevity. Too many to name in this small space, but with the help of many seen and unseen hands, we spread our magic. Our determination grows as we strive to open our community up to all of those who want to celebrate the differences that enrich us and the similarities that bind us together.