Alex Pertout is one of Australia's leading percussionists and with credits on hundreds of albums, motion picture soundtracks, television soundtracks and jingles is undeniably one of Australia's most recorded musicians.
Born in Santiago, Chile, Alex Pertout lived in Italy before settling in Australia in 1972, where he graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with distinction in performance and composition in 1983.
Alex Pertout is recognised as one of Australia's leading percussionists and with credits on hundreds of albums, soundtracks and jingles is undeniably one of Australia's most recorded musicians. His playing has graced number one charting singles and albums and many award winning recordings. He has also attained credits with television and theatre orchestras, in countless live performances, in countless live performances, as a multi-instrumentalist/composer and record producer, as an improviser and as an author. He has also established himself as a respected educator and is a Senior Lecturer and the Convenor of Contemporary Music Performance [Improvisation] at the Faculty of VCA and Music, The University of Melbourne, Australia.
Alex Pertout was born in Santiago, Chile, lived in Italy and settled in Australia in 1972. His parents provided a creative backdrop for his musical growth. His Chilean mother and Slovenian father [surname of French origin] were ardent lovers of classical music, and in particular opera. At age fifteen Alex embarked on studies in Latin American percussion which led to an academic musical path. During his college education he also studied vibraphone, orchestral percussion, piano and composition. Alex graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1983 with distinction in performance and composition. He has since engaged in further academic studies completing a Masters of Philosophy in Music at the Australian National University.
As one of the founding member of the Australian Art Orchestra led by Paul Grabowsky, Alex Pertout has toured Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania, he has also performed as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and has recording and performance credits with an array of artists including Powderfinger, Badi Assad, Shane Howard, James Morrison, Casiopea, Little River Band w/John Farnham, Brian Brown, Hunters & Collectors, Tina Arena, Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter, Daryl Braithwaite, Charlelie Couture, Kutcha Edwards, Jane Rutter, Slava Grigoryan, Christine Sullivan, Things of Stone and Wood, Tony Gould, Olivia Newton-John, Tom E Lewis, Kavisha Mazzella, Don Burrows, Saffire, Grace Knight, Goanna, Redgum, The Seekers, Ted Egan, James Reyne, The Black Sorrows w/ Joe Camilleri, Stephen Cummings, Ross Wilson, Kate Ceberano, Danii Minogue, Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, Mondo Rock, Marc Hunter, Tommy Emmanuel, Paul Grabowsky, Earl Brown, Debra Byrne, The Lovers, Christine Anu, Lisa McCune, Malaysian pop band Wings, Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Pops Orchestra, Graeme Lyall, Graham Goble, Mark Gillespie, Venice Beach, Ted Egan, Brian Cadd, Kids in the Kitchen, James Reyne, Shane Howard, Joe Chindamo, Southern Sons, Ross Wilson, Richard Pleasance, Cezary Skubiszewski, John Foreman, Judy Conelli, Andrew Pendlebury, Coco's Lunch, Ross Ryan, Pseudo Echo, Kevin Borich Express, Pipoca, Chantoozies, Indecent Obsession, Colleen Hewet, Steve Grace, Greg Champion, Bob Sedergreen, The Slow Club, Bruce Rowlands, John McAuslan, World Rhythm Band, Lisa Young, Seona McDowel, David Hirschfelder, Colin Buchanan, Linda George, The Purple Dentists, Linda Cable, Peter Cupples, Penny Dyer, Broderick Smith, Combo La Revelacion, Wjaz, Cotton Club Orchestra, Howlin' Wind, Nick Barker & The Reptiles, Vince Jones and Neil Murray among many others.
His percussive work is to be heard also on the soundtracks of many films including It Runs In The Family, 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 Smithm, 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.
As a result of his expertise in many areas of percussion, Alex Pertout has been a member of television orchestras for all the major networks in shows such as TV Logie Awards, Tonight Live With Steve Vizard, Hey Hey It's Saturday, Brownlow Medal Awards, The Australia Remembers Gala Tribute, AFL Grand Final, The Don Lane Show, APRA Composer Awards, The Midday Show, New Faces, The Bert Newton Show, The Daryl Somers Show, The Australia Day Concert, Good Friday Appeal, The Rolf Harris Show, 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, Skyhooks, Gina Jeffreys, Bob Barnard, David Dixon, Grace Knight, Anthony Warlow, Slim Dusty and James Morrison to name a few. In the theatre he was part of the orchestra for the productions of HMS Pinafore with Paul Eddigton, Me & My Girl and was a featured percussionist in a year-long season of The Lion King at the Regent Theatre.
Alex Pertout embarked on yet another facet of his already colourful artistic career releasing compact discs as a producer, composer and multi instrumentalist Alex Pertout [Larrikin Entertainment LRF-273] and From The Heart [Vorticity Music 010116-1] with guests including Mike Stern, Tom Coster, Tommy Emmanuel, Raul Rekow and Mark Levine. Apart from his own releases Alex performed, produced and engineered the 1997 release by legendary Australian saxophonist Brian Brown titled Flight [Newmarket 3014-2]. He has also worked as a composer, producer, performer and engineer on several short films and commercials including Desire, Madonna Mia, X, Jazz, Rwanda; A Country In Crisis Care Australia, Vicswim, and as co-musical director alongside Kavisha Mazzella on the community based stage productions The Nomad's Heart and Stone The Crows presented at the Melbourne Town Hall.
His ensembles: Alex Pertout Ensemble, Orquesta Frenesi and Yambu Ensemble have performed at numerous concerts, festivals, on radio and television, both in Australia and internationally including as the opening act for Ottmar Liebert at the Melbourne Concert Hall, Coast To Coast on ABC-TV, The Age Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Electric Jazz Festival, Duende at the Melbourne Concert Hall, Australian Jazz Yatra in Mumbai [India], Montsalvat Jazz Festival, Summer Live's Jazz In The Green Room at the Victorian Arts Centre, El Fuego at the Melbourne Concert Hall, Ultimate Drummer's Day, Good Morning Australia on Channel 10, Brunswick Music Festival, Coburg Music Festival, Spoletto Melbourne Festival, Music Deli on ABC Radio, Jazz Az Now on ABC-TV, Twilight Jazz at the Myer Music Bowl, Moomba Jazz Festival, Bennetts Lane and Chapel Off Chapel. The ensembles have featured special guests including Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, noted author and pianist Mark Levine, flautist Dave Valentin, percussion master Raul Rekow, jazz trumpeter Scott Tinkler, trombonist James Greening, pianists Joe Chindamo, Tony Gould and Alister Spence, saxophonist Lachlan Davidson, vocalists Shane Howard, Christine Sullivan, Kutcha Edwards, Tom E Lewis, Valanga Khoza, Nilusha Baeder, and a cappella group Coco's Lunch. Alex also co-directs Alex & Nilusha with vocalist Nilusha Baeder, a quintet that features their original works, as well as original arrangements of repertoire from a wide range of styles. The quintet has performed widely in jazz clubs, festivals and concert venues including Bennetts Lane, Paris Cat, Dizzy's and Melba Hall. The ensemble is currently recording a debut album with members Craig Newman [bass], Andrew Jones [piano] and Ryan Menezes [drums] as well as featuring guests Joe Chindamo, Tony Gould [piano], Miroslav Bukosky [trumpet] and Dave Valentin [flute]. A website page with a work in progress sampler can be found here.
As an author Alex Pertout has released a book for instrumentalists and vocalists titled Sight Reading: The Rhythm Book designed to develop sight reading and rhythmic skills. The book is published, manufactured and distributed internationally by Mel Bay Publications Inc. As an educator he is a Senior Lecturer and the Convenor of Contemporary Music Performance [Improvisation] at the Faculty of VCA and Music at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He has also been part of the faculty of the music departments of Northern Melbourne Institute of Tafe [Greensborough and Collingwood campuses] and part of the percussion faculty at Drumtek. He has conducted masterclasses and workshops on a variety of topics throughout the nation including presentations for Chisholm College, Alandale College, Bialik College, Piccolo Spoletto Festival, Future Music, Shepparton Arts Festival, Music Junction, Royal Australian Air Force, Victorian Rock Foundation, The Boite, Adelaide Rock Shop and for Electric Factory and Meinl Percussion among others. Alex is the percussion writer for Drumscene; the Australian drumming magazine, was a correspondent for Drum! [USA], and has also written articles for Australian Musician, World Percussion & Rhythm [USA], Transition [Holland] and Jamm magazine.
Alex Pertout has received Australia Council grants for recording and ensemble development, was featured in the February 1997 cd release Percussion On Fire [Jazziz On Disc JZD-0297] by noted US magazine Jazziz; a compilation of tracks by drummers and percussionists from around the globe chosen by Dave Samuels, Paulinho Da Costa, Peter Erskine along with Jazziz editor Michael Fagien, was awarded the inaugural Latin Percussion Award 'Recognising Excellence in Australian Drumming' in the Skin Full Reader's Poll, and is endorsed world-wide by Meinl percussion, Sabian cymbals and Vater sticks.