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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - July 14, 2016
Alex & Nilusha on Cuban TV

Alex & Nilusha on Cuban TV

Acclaimed Australian world music duo Alex & Nilusha have been kinda busy lately! On June 10th this year they released a wonderful new album called Afterglow but haven’t been able to slot in an Australian launch for it until August 30, when they play Melbourne jazz club Birds Basement. First they had to attend to many international commitments including a performance at the prestigious Cubadisco Festival in Havana, Cuba, as well as dates in Mexico City. While in Havana, the pair appeared on several popular Cuban radio and TV programs, plus played a couple of shows as guests of local artists such as Jorge Gomez and Grupo Moncada, and Cesar Lopez and his Habana Ensemble. They also found time to record new works with William Roblejo on violin and Pedro Trujillo from the legendary Grupo Moncada on flute and quena, engineered by Alfonso Peña.

alexnilushaNot that any further confirmation was required but the pair’s 3rd album Afterglow is even more evidence that Alex & Nilusha are a world class act, capable of producing complex and sophisticated rhythms wrapped in an easily digestible (and slow-danceable) package. From the opening track, Estelle, listeners will rapidly surrender to the swirling melody and the lure of Nilusha’s exotic vocalisations. On the surface it all seems so effortless but dig deeper and you’ll discover her amazing control and technique, as she hovers over Pertout’s intricate and contagious Latin-flavoured percussion arrangements. Meanwhile in the background, guest guitarist and jazz legend Mike Stern meanders sublimely over his fretboard. Autumn Green, is a masterclass in vocal control. The combination of tasteful Grapelliesque violin, and accompanying Fender Rhodes piano result in a warm, contemplative vibe. The track Early Black Velvety Sky should have come with a warning sticker, as its tidal pull may easily induce involuntary samba steps. Percussionist extraordinaire Alex Pertout brings his considerable collection of toys and rhythmic magic to Ominira, featuring Evripides Evripidou on electric bass, who makes the trip particularly scenic. Australian jazz dignitary Paul Grabowsky lends his piano elegance to the title track Afterglow, yet another enchanting piece, possessing a reflective spirit, buoyed by its oscillating rhythms. The Moon and Me completes the album journey. It’s apt that the percussive pulse which permeates the entire album, emerges from the mix to take a bow in an extended percussive outro.

afterglowIn addition to their own cultural backgrounds, Chilean-born percussionist Alex Pertout and Sri Lankan–born vocalist Nilusha Dassenaike travel the world experiencing and devouring the arts of many different nations, infusing it into their own projects, presenting us with a fascinating, sonic slide show of their many musical expeditions. Mention also must be made of core band members Frank Di Sario (bass), Geoff Hughes (guitar), Phil Turcio (keys) and other international guests Cuban violinist William Roblejo and Argentinian guitarist Alan Plachta, whose collective input adds immense flavour to the recording.

Alex & Nilusha officially launch the album on Tuesday August 30 at Birds Basement in Melbourne. Tickets available here

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 14, 2016


It seems there is no stopping the globally celebrated world music duo Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike. After winning the ‘Premio Internacional’ at the 2015 Cuban Music Awards (Cubadisco) for ‘Tales To Tell,’ ALEX & NILUSHA were officially invited back to perform at the 2016 XX Cubadisco Festival in Havana, Cuba. In December 2015 they were also awarded an Australia Council of the Arts ‘Project Grant’ in support of the tour.

ALEX & NILUSHA are set to launch their new album AFTERGLOW in Havana, Cuba at the XX Cubadisco Festival and in Mexico City via an invitation from IMER Radio Horizonte FM as part of their ‘Conciertos De Horizonte’ series. Accompanying them on the tour will be their outstanding colleagues Geoff Hughes on guitar and Frank Di Sario on bass. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

afterglowAFTERGLOW will be Alex and Nilusha’s third collaborative album. Recorded in Melbourne, 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. The album was mixed by Doug Brady at Furstock Studios and mastered by Leon Zervos at Studios 301. Produced by Alex Pertout.

Afterglow will be released officially on July 1, with an iTunes digital release on June 10.

(And in another piece of Pertout news … we’ve heard that last week, Alex’s equally talented brother Andrian was declared the recipient of the third prize in the Hearing Orpheus Today Composition Competition  in Gozo, Malta)

Alex & Nilusha perform The King’s Lament from their album Tales To Tell on the Music Show. ABC RN

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Posted in Blog    //    Post Date - May 15, 2015

alexcubaGreat news just in from Cuba. Melbourne based duo Alex & Nilusha have just won a ‘Premio Internacional’ at the CUBADISCO Music Awards held a couple of hours ago at the legendary Tropicana Club in Havana, Cuba. CUBADISCO is the music awards presented by the Cuban Music Institute and the Cubadisco Organizing Committee at their annual Music Festival and Conference in Havana, Cuba 15-24 May and is considered to be the Cuban version of The Grammy Awards. The Premio Internacional award was for Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike’s brilliant world music album ‘Tales To Tell’. The pair were at the event to receive the award.

Read our 2014 interview with Alex & Nilusha in which they talk about award winning album

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Posted in Artists, Interviews    //    Post Date - September 23, 2014

Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike, who record and perform as Alex & Nilusha,  have just released their second album ‘Tales To Tell’, a high quality, rhythmic and melodic, world music feast. The duo kindly invited Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips into their home to discuss the creation of the album and…

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