Dave was born into a musical family. He started playing the piano at 5 years of age, taught initially by his paternal Grandmother Elsie Cottle. At 10 years of age he studied piano with Mrs Edmonds in Caswell, passing Grade 8 piano at 16, having passed his Music GCSE at 14 years of age. Dave's father Peter was a dance band Organist/Pianist and Comedian who gave Dave ideas of chords structure, improvisation & busking. Dave started 'depping ' for his Dad in local dance bands at 15 years of age, he started trumpet at 13 and is self taught on trumpet.
After leaving school at 16 , Dave had a few more years of Classical piano studies with Mr Davies, Church organist at St Peters Newton, who introduces Dave to pieces by the likes of Debussy and Bach, which he still uses as reference and practice points to this day.
His early years and through his teens was spent performing in variety shows. He first went 'on the stage' at 3 years of age as a sideman in his Dad's comedy routine. By 6 years of age he was performing a solo Comedy/Magic routine, winning the Butlin's National Talent Competition in 1964 at the Grand Final in Bognor Regis. His younger brothers Richard and Laurence gradually joined the act and "The Cottle Brothers' performed originally as a Comedy / Magic show that gradually evolved into more of a musical performance as they grew into their teens. The 3 brothers played Trumpet / Clarinet and Trombone. The performance was mostly based around Traditional/Dixieland Jazz Style,
TV /Radio appearances, theatre shows, summer seasons at Butlin;s Camps and seaside theatre resorts ensued alongside playing the South Wales Club circuit. The Cottle Brothers appeared with stars of the day such as Vince Hill (pictured at the London Palladium 1974) Cilla Black, and toured Wales extensively with the Wynn Calvin laughter Show. Less Comedy and more music evolved with the brothers also forming a dance band wit Dad. Dave take took an interest in the local Jazz scene visiting the Swansea Jazz Society Events at the St James Club from 1975.
By 1980 the Cottle Brothers variety act ended at that time when both Richard and Laurence moved away to further pursue their musical careers. Dave had gone full circle by 1981 having one final Summer Season of variety shows as solo act, playing trumpet , singing and telling corny gags!
INTO THE 80'S
With his brothers headed for London, Dave established himself as a musician based in Wales playing increasingly at the Jazz Club, and with a variety of local Bands and as a musician in Theatre shows. Whilst playing with the Constellation Big Band around 1978 he met saxophonist Berry Ray with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. The Constellation Band Dave joined in 1978 was a valuable musical experience playing a great library of music, and listening and playing with many of the seasoned players in the band at that time.
Dave played regularly in Berry's function band form the late 1970's, busy days for musicians back in the day when bands when often play 4/5/6 times a week particularly hotel work running up to Christmas. Young musicians had plenty of well paid gigs to hone skills back in those days!
Dave formed the Dave Cottle Band in 1985 with Berry Ray on saxes and Martin Webber on drums. The Band was a huge success and popular for almost 30 years playing at literally 1000's of wedding parties and functions with a popular mix of music always presented with great humour of course!
By the 2000's it was a great pleasure when Dave could welcome his own sons to play in the band with him, Andy on saxes and Tom on the drums.
By the late 1990's Dave got involved in arranging Jazz Events at Swansea Jazzland, assisted by his great friend Berry Ray. The club flourished under their stewardship.
Dave established the Swansea Jazz Trio with Alan Vaughan (bass) and Paul Smith (drums ) which became the bedrock of the club in accompanying visiting artists.
2000 - 2020 has seen Dave continue with the Dave Cottle Band, sadly his great friend Berry Ray passed away in 2016 and is greatly missed, the wonderful Gary Phillips now plays with Dave for these events, Dave has continued with presenting Jazz Events at Swansea Jazz plus he started Swansea International Festival was started in 2014. Other projects are on going on the performance page with the Ella and Louis Show, the Cottle Brothers still reunite for Special Events and Dave has his own Big Band "The Power of Gower" 17 piece powerhouse jazz ensemble
AWARD FOR SERVICES TO MUSIC
Swansea Lord Mayor Awarded Dave for his services to music in the City at a Gala dinner in the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea November 2018,