Welcome to Cotham Club

Community Through Music | Great Global Sounds

Cotham Club: a brilliant, eclectic monthly live global music club with a passion for community at its core.

Music, with all its subtlety and spirit, has immense power to unite people. It is the universal language of mankind.

The sounds of Africa, America, Eurasia and Oceania have always found a home in Bristol and there are few better examples of the city’s cultural cross-pollination than Cotham Club, a celebration in sound of what unites rather than divides. Each month we showcase some of the most diverse and brilliant musicians from Bristol and beyond, linking audiences to great music and to each other.

Cotham Club: not only music, a community, a sense of having a place to belong.

‘Community-focused gigs welcoming an array of global musicians and gig-goers of all ages, genders, neurotypes and ethnicities.’ Bristol 24/7

epic gigs + grassroots vibes + warmest crowds in brilliant space w/ unique atmosphere + intimate feel = great night out


Dovetail Orchestra: Postponed

With deep regret, Dovetail Orchestra, originally scheduled for Friday 23 February 2024, is no longer able to perform as advertised. Several refugee members of the ensemble have been rehoused by the Home Office at little notice, and illness has prevented important rehearsals. In the Orchestra’s place, local legends Baraka, led by indefatigable octogenarian Ben Badoo of Ghana, performs a blistering set of Afro-Caribbean dance music.


Friday 23 February 2024 7.30pm
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100627

Carefree, joyous, sunshine-soaked Afro-Caribbean dance party music.

Truly unique and utterly irresistible carnival music; supercharged West African high-life, South African township, Caribbean calypso and Jamaican reggae.

This tight-knit quintet’s exuberant, infectious dance music captures the glorious atmosphere of a carnivalesque Afro-Caribbean street party, dropping kinetic world genres from Ghana to Trinidad to Jamaica into the mix. Virtuoso drummer and veteran star Ben Badoo drives on the cascade of sound with the trademark rich timbre of his traditional balafon, the ancient wooden precursor of the xylophone. This is happy music; the key is entertainment, the message is joy.

Baraka is truly a WORLD music band; it has in its time brought together musicians not only from Ghana, Zambia, The Congo and Senegal, but also Dominica and Trinidad, Germany and Northern and Southern Ireland, each musician contributing a distinctive sound reflective of their culture.

Its hybrid style is a heady mix of Ghanaian high-life’s colourful, effervescent sound, calypso’s riotous brilliance, township’s effortlessly and indestructibly catchy tunes, and reggae’s loping rhythms, intertwined with shots of relentlessly upbeat Trinidadian soca, superb hip-swinging soukous and an occasional dash of Deep South blues and Celtic folk.

Band leader, Ghanaian Ben Badoo, is one of the great showmen, an indefatigable phenomenon, on brilliant form and keen to experiment; onstage it’s as though he has been plugged directly into a power source. His balafon is a traditional west African instrument, similar in appearance to a xylophone, with keys made of strips of wood that resonate through small calabashes (gourds) tied underneath. The balafon has a unique timbre and vividly buzzes, as there is a rich trail of noise running alongside the notes not dissimilar to the distortion of an electric guitar. A vessel of cultural identity it was originally played by griots or royal African storytellers tasked with chronicling daily life.


Friday 08 March 2024 7.30pm
Cotham Club Jam: Fundraiser For MAP
(Medical Aid For Palestinians) And The
Edward Said National Conservatoire Of Music (ESNCM)

From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E103756

Vital music for vital medicine (of the body, of the soul).

A superb jam session-cum-performance by an eclectic line-up of Bristol musicians united by a shared humanity; raising funds to provide immediate medical aid in Palestine and give hope to bereaved and traumatised children.

Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP) has launched an unprecedented emergency response amid growing critical health needs in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, resulting from the current escalation of violence and Israel’s ongoing bombardment and complete siege on Gaza. The conservatory team in Gaza of the Edward Said National Conservatoire Of Music (ESNCM) has commenced a programme of activities with Palestinian children, despite the deteriorating conditions, in order to create spaces of hope within the refugee camps.

In light of this desperate humanitarian crisis, Cotham Club, in collaboration with the Palestine Museum And Cultural Centre Bristol, hosts a very special live music event to raise funds for MAP and ESNCM.

After 16 years of siege and blockade of Gaza – restrictions on travel, on employment, access to healthcare, on trade, and even access to the Mediterranean Sea – Gaza and Gazans are being eliminated. In the past three months, more than 15,000 children and women have been killed. The destruction of essential infrastructure – homes, hospitals, schools, universities and food distribution systems – makes Gaza almost uninhabitable. Israel’s current disproportionate assault on Gaza seems without end. As humanitarians and as organisers fostering community through music we are appalled at what is happening and want to reach out to all those impacted by the brutal conflict. Whilst we acknowledge the Israeli victims, and suffering of the family and friends of the Israeli hostages, yet the Gazans are in greatest need at this present time and need the material aid most.

Cotham Club Jam aims to replicate the thrills, informality and vibe of a fiery after-hours jam session. Some of Cotham Club’s best loved performers, alongside special guests, put their music where their values are with a dynamic and stylistically diverse night of world-class jazz and great global sounds, with freewheeling interplay between inspirational musical pioneers, ascending stars and ardent new generation artists.

Matching this eclectic lineup is an astonishing set of sounds; expect offbeat world music, free-flowing jazz, serene ‘sacred sound’, spontaneous anything-goes improvisation, impressionistic sound worlds, impressive experimentalism, and radical genre fusions. Music with the gloves off, immediate and unpredictable.

All funds raised from ticket sales, all bar profits, and all donations, go to MAP for its relief efforts in Gaza and ESNCM for its provision of safe play spaces and activities for Gaza’s displaced children. We acknowledge that as long as there is no ceasefire, fundraising drives alone are not the solution. We add our voice to all those calling for an immediate ceasefire.

Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP) works with Palestinian communities for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees. It provides immediate medical aid to those in great need, while also developing local capacity and skills to ensure the long-term development of the Palestinian healthcare system, and campaigning to break down the barriers to Palestinian health and healthcare today and for the future.

[ map.org.uk ]


If you are unable to attend please consider donating directly to MAP here: map.org.uk/donate

The Edward Said National Conservatoire Of Music (ESNCM) is a Palestinian music conservatory with branches in Ramallah, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus and Gaza City. In total, there are more than 1,000 students. It was established in 1993 and is named in honour of the world-renowned Palestinian literary and music critic, classical pianist and scholar Edward Said. The most articulate and visible advocate of the Palestinian cause in the United States, Edward Said was a co-founder and benefactor of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, combining Israeli and Arab musicians, and formed so that young musicians from across the Middle East could gather, talk and perform together. For 25 years its achievement has been to show that mutual cooperation and respect can produce grace and beauty in a world too often defined by bloodshed and cruelty. The ESNCM administrates the Palestine Youth Orchestra and the Palestine National Orchestra, in addition to a number of smaller projects.

[ ncm.birzeit.edu ]

JOIN THE JAM: open call for musicians to play at Cotham Club Jam.

If you are an individual or group wishing to participate in this fundraiser, we would love to hear from you.

Please email: cothamclub@gmail.com for further details.

In the spirit of a fundraiser, all contributions/performances are voluntary.

Organised by Cotham Club in collaboration with the Palestine Museum And Cultural Centre Bristol. All funds raised in aid of Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP) and the Edward Said National Conservatoire Of Music (ESNCM). Medical Aid For Palestinians (MAP) is a registered charity number 1045315.


Friday 22 March 2024 7.30pm
Raf Ferrari Quartet
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100628

Exceptional Italian classijazz-rock.

Unforgettable jazz-rock with an exquisite neoclassical flavour; an exploration of extraordinary hook-driven improvisations and evocative cinematic soundscapes.

Friday 26 April 2024 7.30pm
Bunja Conteh AfroWelsh Connection
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100630

Mesmerising Gambian griot/Welsh folk.

A wonderful musical exchange between magnificent traditional West African griot kora songs and enchantingly cool Cymru folk.

Friday 17 May 2024 7.30pm
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100631

Soulful Afro-folk-pop.

An exuberant, emotive and uplifting global sound, effortlessly weaving together traditional Zambian music with latin, jazz and folk-pop.

Friday 19 July 2024 7.30pm
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100637

Unique and vibrant Zulu-jazz.

A joyous sonic force uniting glorious Isigqi-traditional Zulu harmony singing, vibrant Afro-pop and dynamic jazz.

Friday 27 September 2024 7.30pm
Azhaar Saffar Ensemble
From £12 | £5 conc. | £2 under-18s
BOOK NOW: hdfst.uk/E100638

Superb ‘tropical sunshine’ world-jazz.

A vibrant, irreverent hybrid of jazz energy, tropical warmth, global rhythms, and infectious funk grooves.


Friday 21 June 2024 7.30pm
Ali Elmubarak & Eastern Strings
Vivid Sudanese songs and Middle Eastern sound worlds.




Book tickets
in advance:
from Headfirst Bristol online ticket shop: hdfst.uk/cotham-club

all tickets bought online should be printed or presented on your mobile phone/device

on the door:
tickets available in person from 7pm
(subject to availability)

Venue address
Cotham Parish Church
Cotham Road
( top of St Michael’s Hill )

Running times
doors: 7pm
start: 7.30pm
finish: 10pm

Cross-generational events
we offer accessible and inspiring experiences for all ages | the atmosphere is relaxed and pleasurable, and generally people are allowed to enter and leave their seating freely | there is an open attitude towards audience noise and movement, and dancing is encouraged

Unreserved seating
our venue operates unreserved seating | please arrive early if you have preferred seats | audience members with specific access or seating requirements should purchase a ticket and then contact us directly at cothamclub@gmail.com so that we can reserve a suitable space for you in the auditorium | essential companions do not need a ticket, however you must contact us in advance at cothamclub@gmail.com if they will be accompanying you | Front Of House staff and volunteer stewards are on hand to provide assistance

latecomers may enter at any time | you may exit and re-enter the venue at any time


Eat & drink
the bar opens pre-show from doors time and during the interval; the bar closes after the interval | choose from a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (including wine, beer, and cider), hot drinks, soft drinks and snacks | free nibbles/sweet treats available at selected events | drinks may be consumed in the auditorium | no externally purchased food, soft drinks or alcohol may be brought into the venue | no controlled substances may be brought into the venue | Cotham Parish Church is an entirely no smoking venue

level access from street to foyer, box office, auditorium, bar and toilets

accessible/wheelchair accessible toilets available | toilets are sign marked | please ask our volunteer stewards if you require directions

stage lighting, which can include LED lighting, will be used for all concerts | tealights (small electric candles) are also used around the auditorium for all concerts

we encourage our guests to use the many nearby public transport options or book cabs to attend our venue | for detailed travel planning information, please visit the Travelwest journey planner: travelwest.info

Firstbus service 72 (Bristol Temple Meads Station to UWE Frenchay Campus): firstbus.co.uk

10 minute walk from Clifton Down Train Station: gwr.com | 15 minute walk from Redland Train Station: gwr.com

15 minute walk up St Michael’s Hill from Christmas Steps | 10 minute walk from Everyman Cinema, Whiteladies Road | 15 minute walk from The Arches, Cheltenham Road

Car parking
on-street parking available | limited on-site accessible parking available for Blue Badge holders

photography on mobile phones and compact cameras is permitted, without flash and for personal use | we ask our audiences to respect others around them, as photos and filming can be distracting for those around you

Dogs/animals policy
service animals only in the auditorium


Zero tolerance
Cotham Club is a place of safety and respect for everyone who visits our events or who works here | we expect you to be a part of that by understanding and upholding inclusive behaviours as part of our community

Safety & security
the safety and security of our visitors, staff, and artists is paramount | our Front Of House team and volunteer stewards are here to assist you and enhance your experience – they are here to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone | please cooperate fully with all requests and support these vital members of our team as they carry out important work to keep us all safe



we seek to partner with organisations to extend our welcome, at low or zero cost, to people who wouldn’t otherwise get to a live concert in Cotham | to this end we are active in our outreach to refugee organisations, schools, and community organisations across Bristol, and we will help arrange transport if necessary | if this sounds like you then please get in touch: cothamclub@gmail.com