ALEX PERTOUT has been recognised for decades as one of Australia's leading creative percussionists and with credits on hundreds of albums, soundtracks and jingles is undeniably one of Australia's most recorded musicians. He is a multi-award winning artist whose playing has graced number one charting singles and albums and many award-winning recordings. As a versatile percussionist he has also attained credits as a member of numerous television orchestras, theatre orchestras, in countless live performances covering a wide musical spectrum as well as a respected educator and academic. In tandem he has developed a personal creative artistic career as a recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, author and ensemble leader.
He was born in Santiago, Chile, lived in Gorizia, Italy and settled in Melbourne, Australia
in the early 1970s. In his teens he embarked on studies in rhythmic percussion from various sources which eventually led to an academic musical research path and a successful professional career as a renowned percussionist. In 1980 he was part of the first intake of students into the newly developed jazz program at the Victorian College of the Arts directed by the legendary saxophonist Brian Brown. During his college
he also researched composition, repertoire, arranging, vibes, marimba, orchestral percussion and piano. He
from the VCA in 1983 with High Distinction. He has since completed a Master of Philosophy In Music at the Australian National University (ANU).
Warwick McFadyen | SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
He flatters most contexts in which he performs, combining the ability
to bring an extremely sophisticated sense of orchestration to bear...
John Shand | JAZZ’N’BLUES
Pertout's credentials are impeccable, supremely elegant playing...
Brian Wise | RHYTHMS
It has been the case for many years in Australia, one man's
name is synonymous with professional percussion, Alex Pertout
is the percussionist's percussionist...
Rob Walker | AUSTRALIAN MUSICIAN
A musician's musician, this Chilean born percussionist who arrived
Melbourne two decades ago via Italy, must have made an impact
at some time or other through his extensive
performances on record, stage
Mike Daly | THE AGE
Performance by percussionist Alex Pertout was way above the
Pertout impressed with his Latin American rhythms...
Narendra Kusnur | MIDDAY MUMBAI (INDIA)
As always Pertout provides a vital ingredient with his tasteful
and creative use of percussion instruments...
Adrian Jackson | RHYTHMS
As a first-rate studio percussionist he has attained recording credits on
hundreds of releases, his playing featured on number one charting singles and albums and many award-winning recordings, releases include compact discs, long plays, mini long plays, 12" mixes
and singles with artists such as
Powderfinger, Australian Art Orchestra, Japanese fusion band Casiopea, Little River Band w/John Farnham, Tina Arena, Shane Howard, Daryl Braithwaite, French artist Charlelie Couture, Archie Roach, Goanna, Mark Gillespie, Paul Grabowsky, Vince Jones, Ruby Hunter, Pseudo Echo, Joe Chindamo, Kate Ceberano & Her Septet, The Black Sorrows, Redgum, Hunters & Collectors, Tommy Emmanuel, Merril Bainbridge, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian rock band Wings, Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Seymour, Saffire, Rob Mills, Kavisha Mazzella, Tony Gould, Coco's Lunch, Dan Greenwood, Mike Brady, Mark Elliot, Kids In The Kitchen, James Reyne, Mondo Rock, The Lovers, Rozzi, Christine Sullivan, Debra Byrne, Stephen Kirk, Graham Goble, Wendy Grace, Jamie Fielding, Linda Cable, Penny Dyer, Justin Humphries, Brian Brown, Linda George, Jane Rutter, Lisa Young Quartet, Fiona Burnett, Wendy Rule, Peter Jones, Lisa McCune, Linn Van Heck, Venice Beach, Southern Sons, Things Of Stone And Wood, Larry Maluma, Colin Buchanan, Dinash, Howlin' Wind, The Seekers, Mixed Relations, Among Thieves, Peter Andre, Stephen Housden, Joe Creighton, Broderick Smith, Arch Stevenson, Andrew Pendlebury, Bob Sedegreen, Steve Warner, Rhapsody In Red, Cotton Club Orchestra, Stephen Cummings, Cezary Skubiszewski, Richard Pleasance, Paul Norton, The Slow Club, Nick Barker And The Reptiles, FGHR, Neil Murray, Olivia Newton-John, Ross Wilson, Joe Camilleri, Indecent Obsession, Chantoozies, Ted Egan, John McAuslan, Fernandez & Wright, Steve Grace, Manikins, Adrian's Wall, Judy Conelli, FX, Greg Champion, Ka Ha, White Light Orchestra, Hi Ho, David Evans And Thunder Down Under, The Ones, Brian Cadd, Bruce Rowland, Colleen Hewet, Peter Cupples, Monica Brown, World Rhythm Band, Seona McDowell and Savanna Silver Band
His percussive work is to be heard also on many motion film soundtracks including It Runs In The Family, The Menkoff Method, Empire Falls, Crocodile Dundee, Siam Sunset, The Goddess Of 1967, Black & White, The Craic, Diana & Me, Simone De Beauvoir's Babies, Shiner, Witch Hunt, Gross Misconduct, Aladdin: The Return Of Jafar, La Spagnola, Andre The Seal, Noah's Ark, Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude, The Silver Brumby, Lightning Jack, Last Days Of Chez Nous, Hurricane Smith, Death Before Dishonour, Return To Eden, Lilian's Story, Lucky Break, The Crossing, Boulevard Of Broken Dreams, Wendy Cracked A Walnut, The Sound Of One Hand Clapping, The Bit Part, Dusty, Napoleon/Kulta, Georgia, Exile, Tunnel Vision, Life Of Harry Dare, Cheetah and Brilliant Lies among others.
As an accomplished and versatile percussionist playing a wide spectrum of instruments he has been a member of numerous television and theatre orchestras performing on tonight shows and special network presentations. On television he spent over two decades taking part in orchestras for all the networks working on programs such as The Don Lane Show, The Midday Show, New Faces, The Bert Newton Show, The Daryl Somers Show, Tonight Live with Steve Vizard, Hey Hey It's Saturday as well as special presentations such as The Australia Remembers Gala Tribute, Brownlow Medal Awards, AFL Grand Finals, APRA Composer Awards, Australia Day Concert, Good Friday Appeal, Carols by Candlelight, Institute for the Blind Telethon, Victoria's 150th Anniversary, An Evening with Dame Edna and Australian Film Institute Awards, in turn backing artists such as Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Chaka Khan, The Commodores, Tim Finn, John Tesh, Don Burrows, Tom Jones, John Farnham, George Golla, Ray Davies, Margaret Urlich, Glen Shorrock, Petula Clark, Joan Carden, Hugh Jackman, Skyhooks, Gina Jeffreys, Bob Barnard, Dannii Minogue, David Dixon, Grace Knight, Anthony Warlow, Slim Dusty and James Morrison to name a few.
In the theatre has been a featured percussionist in two year-long seasons of The Lion King at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne performing the house right and house left chairs. He has also taken part in the orchestra for the productions of Me & My Girl and HMS Pinafore with renowned English actor Paul Eddigton.
Concerts and Tours
As a founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra led by Paul Grabowsky, he has toured Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, he has also performed as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and with artists such as Shane Howard, Paul Kelly, James Morrison, Brazilian guitarist Badi Assad, Brian Brown, Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Kutcha Edwards, Jane Rutter, Slava Grigoryan, Christine Sullivan, Tony Gould, Ute Lemper, Tom E Lewis, Kavisha Mazzella, Don Burrows, Grace Knight, Goanna, The Seekers, Stephen Cummings, Kate Ceberano & Her Septet, Dannii Minogue, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Marc Hunter, Tommy Emmanuel,
Grabowsky, Earl Brown, Debra Byrne, Steve Lacy, The
Lovers, Australian Philharmonic Orchestra,
Australian Pops Orchestra, Graeme Lyall, Mark
Foreman, Andrew Pendlebury, Coco's Lunch, Ross Ryan, Kevin Borich Express, Pipoca, Bob Sedergreen, World
Rhythm Band, Lisa Young, Linda George, The Purple Dentists, Linda Cable, Peter
Cupples, Penny Dyer, Combo La Revelacion, Wjaz, Vince Jones and Savanna Silver Band among many others. He has also taken part in an array of diverse concert presentations such African Sanctus, Misa Criolla, Canto General, Axion Esti, Under The Southern Cross, Un Canto De Amor Al Pueblo and Festival Of Rhythm.
Australian Art Orchestra with Paul Kelly 'Meet Me In The Middle Of The Air' Australian Tour - Sydney Opera House
He is a Senior Lecturer in he Jazz & Improvisation Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, University of Melbourne where he has also held the leading roles of Head of Contemporary Music Performance and Head of Jazz & Improvisation, developing the curriculum for both the undergraduate and honours programs. He directed the program for sixteen years establishing formal performance opportunities featuring established and emerging artists, introduced and array of world music performance settings in the program and an Australian indigenous ensemble into the curriculum inviting acclaimed practioners such as Kutcha Edwards, Tom E Lewis, Lou Bennet, Liz Cavanagh, Joe Geia and Jessie Lloyd to direct. He also connected nationally and internationally with leading artists inviting them to partake with the student cohort on campus, some of these artists include Joe Zawinul, Mike Stern, Tom E Lewis, Richard Bona, Kutcha Edwards, Mark Levine, Raul Rekow, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Grabowsky, Sandy Evans, Hossam Ramzy, Andrea Keller, Jeff Tain Watts, Dave Valentin, Shane Howard, Kristin Berardi, Karaikudi Mani, Lew Soloff, Chad Wackerman, Mick Nock, David Jones and Dave Samuels among many others.
He has also been an international external examiner for the Singapore Polytechnics and has conducted masterclasses and workshops
the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), Australian National University (ANU), University of Visual and Performing Arts in Colombo (Sri Lanka), Lasalle College of the Arts (Singapore), Alandale College, NMIT, Chisholm College, Australian Drummer's Weekend Festival, Piccolo
Festival, Future Music, Shepparton Arts Festival, Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Music Junction, Royal
Australian Air Force, Victorian Rock Foundation, The Boite, Drumtek, Electric Factory and the Adelaide
Alex embarked on yet another
facet of his already colourful artistic career working as a creative producer, recordist, editor, label manager, composer and multi-instrumentalist releasing solo albums as well producing selected ones for other projects and artists. These published releases have featured over thirty of his own compositions and include his albums Lusambo and From The Heart. His productions recorded around the globe including Australia, USA, Cuba, England and Argentina have featured national and international guest artists including Mike Stern, Pancho Amat, Cesar Lopez, Mark Levine, Virgil Donati, Justo Pelladito, Hossam Ramzy, Dave Valentin, Tom E Lewis, Joe Chindamo, Silvia Cabrera, Bob Venier, Linda George, Colin Hopkins,Tom Coster, Tommy Emmanuel, Raul Rekow, Paul Grabowsky, Sandy Evans, William Roblejo, Leonard Grigoryan, Tony Gould, Edsel Gomez, Christine Sulivan and Miroslav Bukovsky to name a few. He produced Fligh a release by the legendary Australian saxophonist Brian Brown, Nilusha Dassenaike's The Lotus Verses, Alex & Nilusha's Moments in Time, Tales To Tell and Afterglow and took part in the US Jazziz compilation Percussion On Fire with his track Salvador. His productions have received critical acclaim and have been awarded accolades such as ABC Jazz 'Album Of The Week', ABC Jazz Notes 'Top 5 Australian Jazz Albums of 2012' and the 'Premio Internacional' at the 2015 Cubadisco Music Awards in Havana, Cuba.
Over the decades he has led an array of ensembles in turn performing in concerts, festivals, jazz clubs, on radio and
television, both in Australia and internationally including performances at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Capital Jazz Project Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Stonnington Jazz Festival, Australia's Drummers Weekend Festival, Cubadisco Festival in Cuba, Imer in Mexico, Jazz Yatra in India, Dutch Burgher Union in Sri Lanka and the Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore to name a few.
Articles and Publications
His areas of expertise and research interests cover a wide range of activity. As an author he has released a book for instrumentalists and vocalists titled Sight Reading: The Rhythm Book designed to develop sight reading and rhythmic skills, published and distributed worldwide by legendary US company Mel Bay Publications. He writes regular percussion articles for Drumscene, was the Australian correspondent for Drum! (USA) and has written articles for Australian Musician, World Percussion & Rhythm (USA), Transition (Holland) and Jamm magazine.
Awards and Endorsements
been the recepient of
Australia Council grants for international touring to Cuba, recording and ensemble
development, University of Melbourne faculty grants for conference performances in USA and Cuba, was one of the winners of Percussion On Fire, a Jazziz On Disc (USA) magazine release
of compositions by drummers and percussionists from around the globe, he was awarded the Skin Full Reader's Poll 'Latin Percussion Award' recognising excellence in Australian
drumming, was awarded a ‘Gold Disc’ as a member of Kate Ceberano & Her Septet for the release ‘Live!’, was awarded a Bell Award for 'Best Australian Ensemble' as a founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra, was awarded a Helpmann Award for Kura Tungar 'Best Australian Contemporary Concert’ as a founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra and was awarded a 'Premio Internacional' at the 2015 Cubadisco Music Award in Havana, Cuba for his production Tales To Tell. He has international endorsements with Meinl percussion, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks and Remo heads.
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 'Merge: A Memory Of The Senses' - Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne