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|Birth name||Alejandro Enrique Pertout|
|Also known as||Alessandro Pertout, Alejandro Pertout Navarro|
|Born||16 May 1959|
|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
Alejandro Enrique "Alex" Pertout (born 16 May 1959, Santiago, Chile) is a Chilean-Australian multi-instrumentalist, composer, educator and record producer. He has released solo albums and toured both Australia and internationally as a member of various ensembles. With Sri Lankan-born singer, Nilusha Dassenaike, he formed a world music duo, Alex & Nilusha, in 2002, which has issued three albums, Moments in Time (March 2012), Tales to Tell (May 2014) and Afterglow (June 2016).
Biography[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]
Alex Pertout was born as Alejandro Enrique Pertout in 1959 in Santiago, Chile. His Italian-born father, Alessandro Pertout, was a teacher of English in Chile who took a job as a factory worker when he returned to Italy prior to migrating to Australia. His mother, Cecilia née Navarro, was a former soprano. He grew up with three siblings.
His parents were music enthusiasts, so he heard Italian opera, western classical music and Latin American genres ranging from Chilean mapuche, Brazilian samba, Paraguayan guarania and Argentinian chacarera and zamba. Pertout heard new sounds from a Chilean folk movement, Nueva Cancion Chilena, made popular by Violeta Parra, Inti-Illimani and Quilapayun, which was influential on his later style.
In his pre-teens while living in Italy, Pertout heard the Latin-rock movement, including San Francisco-based band, Santana: a new style which blended the sounds of electric guitar and organ with a percussion section that explored authentic Afro-Cuban instruments and rhythms. The Pertout family migrated via SS Galileo, in June 1972, to settle in Melbourne, where he began his secondary education and followed with studies in Latin American Percussion.
Pertout commenced his professional career, as Alejandro Pertout Navarro, when he joined the Savanna Silver Band. They recorded an album, Pure Silver, from July to December 1977 with Pertout providing congas, timbales and Latin percussion. The band had signed to the Champagne label, which released it in 1978. It was produced and engineered by Gil Matthews (drummer for Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs). The Canberra Times' Luis Feliu felt, "some popular American styles – funk, jazz-rock and Latin – have been blended rather tastefully by this Melbourne band in an ambitious debut album." Feliu opined, "[Pertout is able] to give the music its smooth beat." Pertout worked on singer-songwriter, Seona McDowell's Gossamer Wings album with its producer, Steve Cooney.
Early in 1986, on percussion, Pertout joined Dave Evans and the Thunder Down Under to record their self-titled album in April with Dave Evans on lead vocals (ex-AC/DC, Rabbit), Joe Camilleri on saxophone (ex-Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, on loan from the Black Sorrows), Joe Creighton on bass guitar, John Dallimore on guitar, Robyn Payne on keyboards, Sam See on guitar and keyboards, Danny Simcic on drums and Penny Dyer, Wendy Stapleton and Lindsay Field on backing vocals. Soon after Pertout provided vibraphone and percussion for the singer, Kate Ceberano, as part of her Septet alongside her brother, Phil Ceberano, on guitar, Robert Burke on saxophone, Peter Jones on drums, Jex Saarelaht on piano, Russell Smith on trumpet and Stuart Speed on bass guitar. In June of that year they recorded a live album, Kate Ceberano and Her Septet (March 1987), at the Arts Centre Melbourne. It reached the top 30 on the Kent Music Report Albums Chart.
Pertout continued to work as a session musician, especially as a percussionist, and is heard on numerous releases in pop, jazz, rock, world, folk and orchestral settings, with various Australian artists including "The Horses" (1990) by Daryl Braithwaite and both "My Happiness" (2000) and "Burn Your Name" (2009) by Powderfinger.
Mark Gillespie, a rock music singer-songwriter and guitarist, used Pertout on percussion, to record his fourth studio album, Flame (1992). The backing band also included James Black on keyboards (ex-Russell Morris Band, Mondo Rock, Revelators), Angus Burchill on drums (ex-John Farnham Band), Creighton on bass guitar (ex-Billy T), Ross Hannaford on guitar (ex-Daddy Cool), Bill McDonald on bass guitar (ex-Hot Half Hour, Deborah Conway Band), Shane O'Mara on guitar (ex-Stephen Cummings Band), and John Watson on drums (ex-Australian Crawl, Kevin Borich Express). Gillespie and the band toured Australia in support of the album.
In July 1993 he issued a self-titled jazz album, Alex Pertout, via Larrikin Records. Michael Foster of The Canberra Times observed, "[his] talents are evident in the extent of, if you like, academic and technical skills. But the force of his energy is essential to his music." He composed eleven of its twelve tracks and co-wrote "For Carlos" with Mario Genovese, who provided guitar on that track.
Pertout is a founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra, a jazz ensemble established in late 1994 by pianist, Paul Grabowsky, which has released albums and toured nationally and internationally. Its first international was in 1996, The New Horizons India Tour, which was a collaboration with a south Indian musician, Kaaraikkudi R Mani, and had performances in New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. It was described in an ABC TV documentary, Into the Fire (1996). In October 1999 he joined Joe Camilleri's project, The Age aRtstate '99 Orchestra, as part of an ensemble, performing at the Melbourne Concert Hall for the Melbourne Festival.
The Australian Art Orchestra recorded material in 2000, which they had previously performed during their Indian tour, at the ABC Studios in Melbourne. The orchestra performed throughout Australia, toured Europe performing at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland, at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in Denmark as well as in concert in London, England, in Prague, Czech Republic and at the Hannover Expo in Germany. The London concert in July 2000 occurred at St John's, Smith Square.
In 2005 the orchestra performed in Mexico City, at Teatro De la Ciudad as part of the Festival de la Ciudad de Mexico . In 2005 the orchestra presented Kura Tungar: Songs from the River featuring acclaimed Indigenous artists Ruby Hunter and Archie Roach at the Melbourne International Festival. The performance won '2005 Best Australian Contemporary Concert' at the Helpmann Awards. In July 2011 the orchestra toured Australia with singer-songwriter, Paul Kelly. The concert tour, Meet Me in the Middle of the Air, was presented at the Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, Sydney Opera House, Canberra Theatre and at Hamer Hall in Melbourne. In 2012 the orchestra performed the program 'Miles: Prince of Darkness' its tribute to Miles Davis at the Adelaide Festival.
Pertout has led ensembles appearing in concerts, jazz clubs, on radio and television, and touring nationally and internationally. His groups have appeared at the Melbourne International Jazz, Capital Jazz Project, Brunswick Music, Stonnington Jazz, Australia's Drummers Weekend, Cubadisco (Cuba), Imer Horizonte (Mexico), Jazz Yatra (India), Dutch Burgher Union (Sri Lanka) and the Mosaic Music (Singapore) festivals.
Pertout is one half of the world music duo, Alex & Nilusha, with Sri Lankan-born, singer Nilusha Dassenaike. They issued their debut album, Moments in Time, in March 2012. The Sydney Morning Herald's Warwick McFadyen rated it at four-out-of-five stars and explained, "Both are luminaries of the Australian jazz/world scene and have delivered a suite of songs that entrances the senses." He described Pertout as a "percussionist extraordinaire", who "shows in sublime style how percussion is more than the drum roll, but can be a sparkling joyous rhythm."
The duo's second album, Tales to Tell (October 2014), won the ‘Premio Internacional’ at the 2015 Cuban Music Awards Cubadisco. Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) reported, in July 2015, "[the award is] the most prestigious musical awards event in Cuba (the Cuban Grammy's)."
Alex & Nilusha's third album, Afterglow, was issued in June 2016 with a launches in Mexico City and Havana. According to Australian Musician Magazine's correspondent, "[they] are a world class act, capable of producing complex and sophisticated rhythms wrapped in an easily digestible (and slow-danceable) package." Its Australian launch occurred in late August of that year.
Albums[edit | hide | edit source]
- Alex Pertout (July 1993) – Larrikin Records (LRJ273)
- From the Heart (2 June 2001) – Vorticity Music (VM 010116-1)
- Lusambo (10 April 2015) – Whispering Tree Music
- Baba Soroso (13 April 2018) – Whispering Tree Music
- Otra Vez (13 April 2018) – Whispering Tree Music
- Alex & Nilusha
Other appearances[edit | hide | edit source]
Alex Pertout has provided: percussion, vibraphone, saxophone, congas, cajon, berimbau, Fender Rhodes, synthesiser, vocoder, marimba, glockenspiel, drums (snare), bongos, bodhran, bombo, cowbell, cymbals, maracas, repenique, shakers, surdo, tambourine, timbales, tom-tom, triangle, caxixi, bells, wind chimes, organ (Hammond), taragat, roto toms, udu, cabasa
- Savanna Silver Band – Pure Silver (March 1978) Champagne Records (CHA 7001)
- World Rhythm Band – World Rhythm Band (1983) Move Records (MCD101)
- Tony Gould – Best of Friends (1984) Move Records (MS 3046)
- Brian Brown – Wildflowers (1984) Move Records (MS 3051)
- FX – Personal (1985) Wheatley Records (WRLP 1016)
- Kate Ceberano and Her Septet – Kate Ceberano and Her Septet (March 1987)
- Cezary Skubiszewski – Soundescape (1991) Platinum Records
- Mark Gillespie – Flame (1992)
- Joe Chindamo – Reflected Journey (1997) A-Records (AL73120)
- Joe Chindamo – Paradiso: the Joy of Film Music (2003) (Chindamo) (NEW3138.2)
- Joe Chindamo - Another Place, Some Other Time 
- Powderfinger - Burn Your Name 
- Lisa Young Quartet – Grace 
- Powerfinger - Golden Rule 
- FGHR - Going Home 
- Mark Seymour – Embedded 
- Australian Art Orchestra – Ruby 
- Fernandez & Wright - Unsung 
- Fiona Burnett – Imagine 
- Safire – Nostalgica 
- Society Of Composers Inc - Soundscapes 
- FGHR – Stationery 
- Shane Howard - Retrospect 
- Rob Mills - Up All Night 
- Kavisha Mazzella - Silver Tango 
- Australian Art Orchestra - Into The Fire 
- Coco's Lunch - A Whole New Way Of Getting Dressed 
- Dan Greenwood - This Is The Girl 
- Mike Brady - The Mistress 
- Spirit Of Christmas 2001 - Various Artists 
- Shout - Australian Cast Recording 
- Mark Elliot - More Pieces Of Me 
- The Lovers - Black Orchid 
- Spirit Of Christmas 1999 - Various Artists 
- Powderfinger - My Happiness 
- Joe Chindamo - Good Little Ploy 
- Powderfinger - Odyssey Number Five 
- Christine Sullivan – Bloom 
- Merril Bainbridge - Walk On Fire 
- Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - Gerard Brophy - Metropolis Series 
- Australian Art Orchestra - Passion 
- Coco's Lunch - Invisible Rhythm 
- Spirit Of Christmas 1995 - Various Artists 
- Tommy Emmanuel - Collaboration 
- Stephen Kirk - Secret Place 
- Tommy Emmanuel - Classical Gas 
- Spirit Of Christmas 1994 - Various Artists 
- Wendy Grace - Infinite Sky 
- Australian Art Orchestra - Ringing The Bell Backwards 
- Broderick Smith - Suitcase 
- The Slow Club - World Of Wonders 
- The Black Sorrows - Never Let Me Go 
- Charlelie Couture - Melbourne-Aussie (France) 
- Larry Maluma & Kalimba - One Mans Poison 
- Shane Howard - River 
- Kavisha Mazzella - Fisherman's Daughter 
- The Spirit Of Christmas 1993 - Various Artists
- Jamie Fielding - Notes From The Underground 
- The Black Sorrows - Harley And Rose 
- Hunters & Collectors - Blind Eye 
- Tina Arena - Strong As Steel 
- Nick Barker And The Reptiles - Make Me Smile 
- The Black Sorrows - Fire Down Below 
- Neil Murray - Calm & Crystal Clear 
- Hunters & Collectors - Ghost Nation 
- Olivia Newton-John - Warm And Tender 
- Ross Wilson - Dark Side Of The Man 
- Joe Camilleri/Amnesty International - Angel Dove 
- Nick Barker And The Reptiles - ...Goin' To Pieces 
- Indecent Obsession - Spoken Words 
- Chantoozies - Wanna Be Up 
- Merril Bainbridge - Between The Days 
- Daryl Braithwaite - The Horses 
- Graham Goble - Stop 
- Linda Cable - Just A Dreamer 
- Penny Dyer - Adieu, Miro 
- Daryl Braithwaite – Rise 
- Justin Humphries - Mind Funk 
- The Black Sorrows - The Chosen Ones 
- Ted Egan - Ted's Shout 
- Larry Maluma & Kalimba - Confusion 
- Chantoozies - Kiss 'N Tell 
- John McAuslan - The Immigrant 
- Chantoozies - Self-Titled 
- Steve Grace - Children Of The Western World 
- The Black Sorrows - Hold On To Me 
- Hunters & Collectors - Still Hanging 'Round 
- Cassiopeia - Active (Japan) 
- Christine Sullivan - Here And Now 
- Joe Chindamo - Anyone Who Had A Heart 
- The Seekers - The Silver Jubilee Album 
- Joe Creighton - Holywell 
- Linda George - Circle Dance 
- Debra Byrne - Sleeping Child 
- The Seekers - Live On 
- Jane Rutter - Blo 
- Wendy Rule - Zero 
- Andrew Pendlebury - Don't Hold Back That Feeling 
- Peter Andre - Self-Titled 
- Bob Sedergreen - Bobbing And Weaving 
- Steve Warner - Sketches Of Paradise 
- Rhapsody In Red & Cotton Club Orchestra - The Bill Armstrong Collection 
- Stephen Cummings - Good Humour 
- Razor Cuts - Various Artists 
- Arch Stevenson - Only Say The Word 
- Larry Maluma & Kalimba - Hallelujah 
- Debbie Byrne - Caught In The Act 
- Hunters & Collectors - Do You See What I See? 
- James Reyne - Rip It Up 
- Kate Ceberano - I'm Beginning To See The Light 
- Mondo Rock - Aliens 
- Hunters & Collectors - What's A Few Men? 
- Kids In The Kitchen - Revolution Love 
- Adrian's Wall - Caught In The Web 
- Chantoozies - He's Gonna Step On You Again 
- Judy Conelli - Turning Point 
- Ka Ha - Heart Of The Warrior 
- Mondo Rock - Boom Baby Boom 
- Peter Jones - Thin Ice 
- Stephen Housden - New World Groove 
- Blue Heelers – Television Soundtrack 
- Merril Bainbridge - Power Of One 
- The Lovers - No Reason Why 
- Linn Van Heck - Difficult Women 
- The Lovers - Embrace 
- Venice Beach - Chainsaw Fantasy 
- Penny Dyer - Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly 
- Things Of Stone And Wood - Junk Theatre 
- Broderick Smith - Snowblind Moon 
- The New Rocky Horror Show - Australian Cast Recording 
- Goanna - Dangerous Dancing 
- Richard Pleasance - Galleon 
- Manikins - Self-Titled 
- Little River Band - Forever Blue 
- White Light Orchestra - Halley's Comet 
- Little River Band - Face In The Crowd 
- Hi Ho - One Man Too Late 
- Australian TV's Greatest Hits - Television Soundtrack 
- David Evans And Thunder Down Under - Self-Titled 
- The Ones – Heart 
- Goanna - Common Ground 
- Paul Norton - Under A Southern Sky 
- Hi Ho - Minimal Heart 
- Little River Band - No Reins 
- Redgum - Midnight Sun 
- Goanna - Oceania 
- Pseudo Echo - Try 
- Brian Cadd - No Stone Unturned 
- Kids In The Kitchen – Terrain 
- Larry Maluma - Motion 
- Southern Sons - Don't Tell Me What's Right 
- Greg Champion - Everybody Loves To Watch The Cricket 
- Wings & Superfriends - Opera Dalam Kenangan Parts 1&2 (Malaysia) 
- Debra Byrne - Diamond In The Rough 
- Colin Buchanan - The Measure Of A Man 
- Dinash - World Of Change 
- Howlin' Wind - Great Ocean Road 
- Debra Byrne - Heaven Down Here 
- Paul Grabowsky - Viva Viva 
- Larry Maluma - Punzizani Aana 
- Things Of Stone And Wood - The Yearning 
- Mixed Relations - Love 
- Archie Roach - Jamu Dreaming 
- Among Thieves - Self-Titled 
- Lisa Young - Fire And The Spark 
- Pseudo Echo - Love An Adventure 
- Bruce Rowland - Piano By Request 
- Linda Cable - Ya-De-Ya 
- Brian Cadd - Still Hurting Me 
- Colleen Hewet - The Power Of Love 
- Australia You're Standing In It - Television Soundtrack 
- Stephen Cummings - Another Kick In The Head 
- Peter Cupples - Dryin' Time 
- Larry Maluma - Man And Woman 
- Vince Jones - Watch What Happens 
- Brian Cadd - My Baby Loves To Hurt Me 
- Stephen Cummings - Senso 
- Peter Cupples - Sweet Summer Nights 
- Stephen Cummings - Stuck On Love 
- Peter Cupples - Fear Of Thunder 
- Broderick Smith's Big Combo - My Father's Hands 
- Broderick Smith's Big Combo - Self-Titled 
- Monica Brown - Let The Children Come 
- Seona McDowell - Gossamer Wings 
Soundtracks[edit | hide | edit source]
Pertout's percussion is used on film soundtracks. He has worked with composers: Cezary Skubiszewski, Brian May, Paul Grabowsky, David Hirschfielder, Bruce Smeaton, Jen Anderson, Tassos Iaonnidis and Bruce Rowland:
Production work[edit | hide | edit source]
- Alex Pertout - Otra Vez 
- Alex Pertout - Baba Soroso 
- Alex & Nilusha - Afterglow 
- Alex Pertout - From The Heart 
- Alex Pertout - Lusambo 
- Alex & Nilusha - Tales To Tell 
- Nilusha Dassenaike - The Lotus Verses 
- Alex & Nilusha - Falling 
- Alex & Nilusha - Moments In Time 
- Brian Brown - Flight 
- Jazziz On Disc - Percussion On Fire USA 
- Alex Pertout - 
Educator[edit | hide | edit source]
As an established and respected educator, Pertout has been associated with the Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) at the University of Melbourne since his graduation from the Jazz & Improvisation studies program led by Brian Brown, with High Distinction in 1983. Pertout is the former Head of Jazz & Improvisation and Head of Contemporary Music Performance (1999-2015). Pertout is a Senior Lecturer in the Jazz & Improvisation program at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music at the University of Melbourne .
References[edit | hide | edit source]
- McFarlane, Ian (1999). "Whammo Homepage". Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop. St Leonards, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-86508-072-1. Archived from the original on 5 April 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2018. Note: Archived [on-line] copy has limited functionality.
- France, Gary. "Alex Pertout". DrumScene Magazine (7). pp. 106–107. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
- Pertout, Alex (2017). "Travel Diary Cuba 2017". DrumScene Magazine (90). p. 23.
- "Rock Music". The Canberra Times. TV Radio Guide. 52 (15, 615). 23 June 1978. p. 7. Retrieved 14 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- Rock On Vinyl: Savanna Silver Band - Pure Silver (1977)
- HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN MUSIC FROM 1960 UNTIL 2010: SAVANNA SILVER BAND
- McFarlane, 'Rabbit' entry. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- McFarlane, 'Kate Ceberano' entry. Archived from the original on 6 July 2002. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book Ltd. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. Note: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1974 until Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) created their own charts in mid-1988. In 1992, Kent back calculated chart positions for 1970–1974.
- McFarlane, 'Mark Gillespie' entry. Archived from the original on 6 August 2004. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Foster, Michael (11 July 1993). "Finely balanced Beethoven by piano and violin". The Canberra Times. 67. p. 22. Retrieved 14 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
- 'Into the Fire' Australian Art Orchestra documentary, India Tour 1996 - YouTube
- Into the Fire [sound recording] . - Version details - Trove
- DFAT Annual Report 2004-2005 : Performance - Outcome 3 - Output 3.1 - 3.1.2 Projecting a positive image of Australia internationally
- Past nominees and winners | Helpmann Awards
- Cashmere, Paul (13 April 2011). "Paul Kelly and Paul Grabowsky to Play Rare Shows Together". Undercover News. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Nicholas, Jessica (7 June 2010). "Meet Me in the Middle of the Air". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Nocookies | The Australian
- Mosaic Music Festival – Festivals
- McFadyen, Warwick (31 March 2012). "Over the Borderline". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
- Dwyer, Michael (22 May 2015). "Coburg's Alex & Nilusha Win Premio Internacional at the Cubadisco Music Awards". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Peter Reynolds (12 June 2015). "Coburg Music Duo's Album Tales to Tell Wins Acclaim at Cubadisco Music Awards". The Herald Sun. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Alex & Nilusha Win Cubadisco Music Award". Australian Musician Magazine. Australian Music Association. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "Alex & Nilusha Global Afterglow". Australian Musician Magazine. Australian Music Association. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- "The Guide". The Music (153). 24 August 2016. p. 47. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Pertout, Alex (1993), Alex Pertout, Larrikin, retrieved 14 April 2018
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- Alex & Nilusha; Pertout, Alex; Dassenaike, Nilusha (2012), Moments in time, Whispering Tree Music: The Planet Company, retrieved 15 April 2018
- Alex & Nilusha (2014), Tales to Tell, Australia Whispering Tree Music Distributed by The Planet Company/MGM, retrieved 15 April 2018
- Alex & Nilusha (2016), Afterglow, Australia Whispering Tree Music, retrieved 15 April 2018
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- Chindamo, Joe; Brecker, Michael; Brecker, Randy; Lyall, Graeme; Hoffman, John; De Vries, Doug; Gander, Andrew; Alsop, Jeremy; Robertson, Ben; Pertout, Alex; Hicks, Tony (1997), Reflected Journey, A-Records, retrieved 16 April 2018
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- MR Alex Pertout - The University of Melbourne