May 17, 2013



Tribe of Doris is a Social Enterprise focused on promoting cross cultural cohesion and education – through creativity, dance, song and ceremony. Based in Bristol Tribe of Doris connects local national and international creative practitioners to new audiences and communities. Tribe of Doris works to promote diversity, preserving heritage and forging new relationships across generations; genres; geographical locations. Our aim is to unite separate communities; promote and support diverse artists; influence the local and national Cultural Arts Agenda’s and programming to include the rich and unexplored talents of the Worlds Ethnic groups in the UK and beyond. Doris also works to support women and youth and people from grassroots communities to be better represented. Through community events, The Festival and gatherings we continue to spread our love of diversity and culture.

Mission Statement

“Creating opportunities for cultural sharing, unity and advancement – through diverse music, dance, song and ceremony“

What are we doing to realise our vision?

As well as our well known and highly respected Summer School/ Festival, for over 28 years we have hosted drum camps, city events and workshops in the South West and beyond. We also regularly contribute to major festivals such as Shambala . One thing that underpins all of our work is a passion to make our gatherings accessible to all members of the community. This includes working closely with communities and refugees and in some cases subsidising their tickets. Together we learn, teach, participate and enjoy, immersing ourselves in a unique community experience.

Why are we called Tribe of Doris?

‘Names appear from the ether and are given to us from the spirits and we grow into them as people and as organisations.’  Deasy Bamford, co-founder.

Tribe of Doris was born on the wave of djembe drumming and dance that came to UK in the late 80’s.  The name was thought up as a one off name for a group of drummers. It was a humorous nod to the rise of identification with various goddesses and Doris seemed to be more down to earth and representative of real people. The tribe element recognizes that we all want to belong to something and that we often lack accessible village wisdom and opportunities to engage in the diverse cultures that are to be found both in the UK and beyond.

Past, Present & Future

Over the years, Doris has worked with teachers from North, South, East andWest Africa including Seckou Keita and other members of his talented family like Surahata Susso, and Mamadou and Binta Cissokho. Other African highlights have included mbira maestro Chartwell Dutiro, Sabar whiz Moudou Diouf, Amazing dancer Amel Tafsout, Hassan Erraji from Morocco and Moroccan trance musicians Jil Gnawa. South America and the Caribbean have brought us Jean Abreu, Laercio dos Anjos Borges, Claudio Kron, Mariana Pinho and Colombian superstar Toto la Momposina.  Check out an article in the Guardian from 2010.

We have developed a great reputation for the work we do and our rich community that stretches across the UK. Children have “grown up” in Doris with more people joining us each year and finding a place to be themselves within our community. Our cultural world village experience of learning and sharing allows people to explore areas of their lives that really benefit from being refreshed and revitalized at least once a year. We are very excited that we can branch out in “The heart of rural England” at Stanford Hall, Lutterworth near Leicester for our annual Tribe of Doris Festival 7th to 11th August 2019.

Diverse Artists Network

In 2016 Tribe of Doris launched the Diverse Artist Network in Bristol, the aim being to bring together artists, venues and promoters so they can network and create partnerships.  It has helped people working across the arts sector to understand the challenges faced by under represented artists hearing first hand what would make a difference.  Tribe of Doris received Arts Council Funding to organise DAN networking meetings. Go to or DAN section to find out more about joining the Network