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ALEX & NILUSHA is an award-winning collaborative project led by percussionist Alex Pertout and vocalist Nilusha Dassenaike which embraces an authentic cross-cultural contemporary sound created in Australia but informed by many locations around the globe, including their profound personal Latin American and South Asian roots. They have presented their project in concerts, jazz clubs, festivals, on radio and television in Australia as well as in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Cuba.

Their recordings feature an impressive gathering of outstading national and international guests including legendary US guitarist Mike Stern, Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, pianist Paul Grabowsky, indigenous singer-songwriter Tom E Lewis, Latin-jazz flautist Dave Valentin, guitarists Leonard Grigoryan, Puerto Rican pianist Edsel Gomez, Cuban tres master Pancho Amat, Cuban violinist William Roblejo and trumpetist Miroslav Bukovsky to name a few.

Their debut album 'Moments In Time' received critical acclaimed including an ABC Jazz 'Album Of The Week' and an ABC Jazz Notes 'Top 5 Australian Jazz Albums of 2012' endorsement, while their latest release 'Tales To Tell' recorded in Melbourne, New York, Buenos Aires, London and Havana has received high praise and was awarded the 'Premio Internacional' at the 2015 XIX Cubadisco Music Awards in Havana, Cuba. With an invitation from the 2016 XX Cubadisco Festival Alex & Nilusha returned to Cuba and Mexico in May 2016 presenting music from their brand new album ‘Afterglow’. The tour was supported by an Arts Project Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts.



Whispering Tree Music WTM-007 [2016]

Alex & Nilusha
present their third collaborative album AFTERGLOW. Recorded in Melbourne, Sydney, Havana, New York and Buenos Aires it features eight new compositions by Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike.

The fusing of contemporary jazz, world music and pop reunites them with legendary US guitarist Mike Stern, Cuban violinist William Roblejo and Argentinian guitarist Alan Plachta, while colleagues Paul Grabowsky Geoff Hughes, Frank Di Sario, Colin Hopkins, Alister Spence, Evripides Evripidou, Phil Turcio and Miroslav Bukovsky contribute superb Australian performances. The release features new collaborations with two Cuban legends, the outstanding master of the tres Pancho Amat and folkloric master drummer Roman Pelladito on congas and the sacred bata drums.
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Tales To Tell

Whispering Tree Music WTM-003 [2014]

Alex & Nilusha
present their album 'Tales To Tell', the follow up to the critically acclaimed 'Moments In Time' release. Recorded in Australia, Argentina, Cuba, England and the USA, 'Tales To Tell’ takes its listeners on an alluring journey of sounds gathered from around the globe, showcasing original compositions by Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike.

'Tales To Tell' features an eclectic cast of outstanding national and international guests including Mike Stern, Paul Grabowsky, Hossam Ramzy, Edsel Gomez, Tom E Lewis, Alan Plachta, Miroslav Bukovsky, David Alfaro, Andrea Keller, William Roblejo, Luke Howard, Peter Petrucci, Adrian Sherriff, Craig Newman, John Norton and Evripides Evripidou.
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Falling featuring Mike Stern

Whispering Tree Music WTM-002 [2013]

Alex & Nilusha have released the single Falling featuring legendary US guitarist Mike Stern. Composed by Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike the song also features Luke Howard on piano and bassist Craig Newman.

Released 29 July 2013 by Whispering Tree Music the track forms part of the forthcoming album Tales To Tell.
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Moments In Time

Whispering Tree Music WTM-001 [2012]

Chilean born percussionist Alex Pertout and Sri Lankan born vocalist Nilusha Dassenaike present Moments In Time, an absorbing journey into contemporary world, contemporary jazz and standout originals.

The album unveils their Alex & Nilusha project, bringing together a stellar cast of Australia’s most distinctive creative performers to participate in their vision, including pianists Joe Chindamo and Tony Gould, trumpeter Miroslav Bukovsky, drummer David Jones, guitarist Leonard Grigoryan, sarodist Saby Bhattacharya and legendary Latin-jazz flautist Dave Valentin.
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Album Of The Week

Top 5 Australian Jazz Albums of 2012


Chilean born 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. He has also attained credits as a member of 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, recording engineer, record producer, author and ensemble leader.

As a founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra led by Paul Grabowsky he has toured Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, has performed as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, has recording, performance and television orchestra credits with an array of artists including Powderfinger, Badi Assad, Shane Howard, James Morrison, Paul Kelly, Casiopea, Little River Band w/John Farnham, Archie Roach, Daryl Braithwaite, Tom E Lewis, Hunters & Collectors, Goanna, Kate Ceberano, Redgum, Brian Brown, The Black Sorrows, Ute Lemper, Charlelie Couture and Tina Arena among many others. In the theatre he was a featured percussionist in The Lion King production.

Alex graduated with high distinction from the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), holds a Master of Philosophy in Music degree from the Australian National University (ANU) and is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of VCA and MCM, University of Melbourne.



Sri Lankan born Nilusha Dassenaike has a unique vocal style that incorporates a delicate balance between her eastern and western musical influences with silk like sounds with rhythmic improvisation. Nilusha has vast performance and studio recording experience ranging from jazz to popular styles including credits with Tony Gould, Don Burrows, Dave Valentin, James Morrison, Renee Geyer, Hugh Jackman, Kutcha Edwards, Bob Sedergreen, Kate Ceberano, Tom E Lewis, Ross McLennan, Stevie Wright, Ross Wilson, David Campbell, Shane Howard, and David Jones among many others.

She has been the resident vocalist/arranger for the 7 and 9 Networks on various shows including Australia’s Got Talent, Singing Bee, Hey, Hey It’s Saturday, Carols by Candlelight, The Footy Show, X Factor and It Takes Two, has been invited to sing the national anthem at various international sporting telecasts including the prominent Boxing Day Test Match at the MCG, and featured on the theme song from the television drama series Canal Road.

Nilusha completed a Master of Philosophy at the Australian National University (ANU) and also has the unique distinction of graduating from both the School of Music and the School of Art at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) where she obtained a Bachelor Degree in Music with Distinction (Improvisation Stream - Voice) and a Bachelor of Fine Art (Printmaking). Nilusha also has extensive teaching experience tutoring in an array of areas including thesis supervision and assessment in the undergraduate, honours, masters and foundation programs at VCA and MCM at the University of Melbourne as well as at NMIT.



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