When Peter Brötzmann played what would turn out to be his last ever concerts at Cafe OTO in February 2023,

he played with such power it would have been hard for anyone present to believe he would never play publicly

again, or that now exactly a year on we would be presenting this memorial to celebrate his life.


Peter supported Cafe OTO right from the start, playing his first residency here at a time when we were still

finding our feet as a venue. Over the years he would play here in numerous configurations, from solo to the

Tentet, in new formations with UK-based players, or alongside colleagues from Japan to Chicago. It has been

one of the greatest honours of the venue to have Peter perform here so many times.


Over these three days we have brought together many of Peter’s key collaborators, from those who played

with him in his very first groups to younger musicians he got to know towards the end of his life. The fact

there are six decades between some of the musicians taking part is testament to Peter’s relentless creative

curiosity and desire to encourage and work with players of all generations to push the music forward together.


Some of the musicians taking part have played together for over half a century and others have never played

together before. Over the course of these three days there will be many premieres of new groups and possibly

a few ad-hoc groupings as well. We are not attempting to recreate any of Peter’s past groups but to bring

musicians he cared for together to remember him, celebrate his life and create new music.


When Peter entered the venue for his final residency he paused, put his hands on his hips, surveyed the room

and said ‘it still smells the same’. Nothing will be the same without Peter. We hope you can join us in

celebrating him.