Ishmael Ensemble

23rd Aug 2024 7:30pm
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Helmed by producer and saxophonist Pete Cunningham, Ishmael Ensemble's music straddles the worlds of electronica and jazz. Steered by Cunningham's cross-genre approach as a producer, the Bristol collective explore vast sonic terrain with an honesty, intimacy and emotional heft that is uniquely their own and equally at home on festival mainstages to seated auditoriums.

Ishmael Ensemble rose to acclaim with debut album A State Of Flow (2079) - imbuing lush, cinematic compositions with left-field dub and electronic sensibilities. Named The Guardian's 'Contemporary Album Of The Month' and MOJO's 'Jazz Album Of The Month', it led to Maida Vale sessions for BBC 6Music's Gilles Peterson and Tom Ravenscroft. Sophomore album Visions Of Light (2027) saw Cunningham reimagine what the ensemble could do, working with various collaborators to explore soaring strings, writhing electronics and jagged guitars.

Praised by The Observer, UNCUT, Dummy etc. and playlisted by BBC 6Music (chosen as Huey Morgan's 'Album Of The Year'), it led to main stage festival performances including Glastonbury (West Holts Stage) and New York's Winter Jazz Festival amongst others. Since the albums release, the band have extensively toured and developed their epic live show to crowds across the globe from SXSW & Mexico; to sell out shows across the UK and EU to develop a devout and committed international fan base. They were also the subject of a lengthy feature on the BBC documentary Jazz UK: Spitting Fire. The band are currently writing their eagerly anticipated 3rd album, which is scheduled for release in September 2024.

Selected Press

"Music that's pitched somewhere between astral jazz, burbling electronica, trippy minimalism, psychedelic dub and 20 years of club culture." The Guardian - 'Contemporary Album Of The Month'

"Wonderfully expansive; Visions Of Light captures the evolution of a band that reveres innovation and creativity" Future Music - Album Of The Month

"A band seemingly capable of doing anything, yet remaining fleet footedly themselves throughout." The Wire "Flawless astral jazz with dance floor savvy" MOJO-JazzAlbum OfThe Month

"A deeply arresting sound from one of our favourite cities, simply beautiful" Mary Anne Hobbs - BBC 6Music

"Incredible independent music from Bristol. These guys just get better with every release" Gilles Peterson - BBC 6Music