Bristolian electronic-jazz outfit to come to SWX

Bristolian electronic-jazz outfit to come to SWX

Posted on: 03 Jun 2024

The Bristolian darlings of the British jazz scene, Ishmael Ensemble, are coming to SWX this autumn – and tickets are now on sale.

Ishamel Ensemble describe themselves as alternately as a “jazzwise electronica group” and simply a “Bristol-based collective” – although it’s fair to simply describe them as a modern jazz ensemble. Led by saxophonist and producer Pete Cunningham, Ishamel Ensemble have been going from strength to strength in recent years, earning them local and national adoration for their music.

This coming October, Ishmael Ensemble will be starting a national tour that kicks off on 2 October in Brighton, before winding their way around the UK & Ireland via London (inevitable), Dublin, Leeds, Manchester and plenty of others, before finding themselves in Bristol at SWX on Thursday, 24 October.


Usually sitting pretty at a five-piece, Ishmael Ensemble bring dramatic and moving performances to any gig they play – which has included gigs across the star venues of Bristol.

Ishmael is a name that comes from early Semitic cultures meaning “God has harkened” – a foretelling of the divine purpose of a child. Perhaps that suggests that coming together to provide impeccable vibes for whoever’s lucky enough to see them is a divinely ordained purpose for Ishmael Ensemble. The prophet Ishmael was banished into the desert, leading the name to come to symbolise exiles & social outcasts – perhaps a suggestion that these bright-eyed jazz-loving musical freaks will play on regardless of who might judge them.



September 2024 sees the release of Ishmael Ensemble’s third LP ‘Rituals’, which marks a significant leap for the Bristolian musicians. With their live-instrumentation-meets-electronic merging of styles, the group were always broader than the ‘new UK jazz’ tag which they were often given, but here their scope and boundary-pushing ambition is more evident than ever before.

Ishamel Ensemble will visit SWX on Thursday 24 October. For tickets, head to SWX’s website.

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Patrick Bate

Patrick is a filmmaker with so much Bristol in his blood the white blood cells are graffiti'd. Educated at the Northern Film School in Leeds, he’s returned home to be a Videographer and Reviewer for 365Bristol and BARBI. When he’s not messing about with cameras, he enjoys playing guitar, spending far too much time on tabletop RPGs, and being an awful snob about cider. Have a look at his work here, or get in touch at