VCA staff win the Premio Internacional at Cubadisco 2015

June 15 / 159

 Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike of the Faculty of VCA and MCM performing
Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike of the Faculty of VCA and MCM performing


Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike of the Faculty of VCA and MCM have taken out the Premio Internacional at the 2015 Cubadisco Music Awards for their album 'Tales To Tell'.


Cubadisco is the most prestigious musical awards event in Cuba, with the Premio Internacional given to the most outstanding release from non-Cuban artists. 


Performing as Alex & Nilusha, percussionist Alex Pertout, Senior Lecturer and Head of Jazz and Improvisation and vocalist Nilusha Dassenaike, Sessional Lecturer at the VCA and MCM, are the first Australians to win the award. 


Falling into the 'contemporary jazz/world music' genre, 'Tales To Tell' was recorded over a two-year period in Melbourne, as well as in New York, London, Buenos Aires and Havana involving guest appearances from outstanding musicians such as legendary US guitarist Mike Stern (ex-Miles Davis), pianist Paul Grabowsky, Egyptian percussionist Hossam Ramzy, Puerto Rican pianist Edsel Gomez and Argentinian guitarist Alan Plachta.


While in Havana in 2013, as a result of a successful Global Atelier grant to take five VCA students to learn first-hand from master drummers, organisers from Cubadisco heard a one-song sampler and invited Alex and Nilusha to submit copies of the full album when completed. 


The Cubadisco Music Awards Ceremony was presented at the legendary Tropicana Club with all the nominated artists present and a huge audience.


“It has been an incredible experience for us,” Mr Pertout said. “Cuba has influenced the global music industry for decades. Cubans are extremely sophisticated and well informed about the arts. They cherish, support and present some of the most diverse genres from classical to experimental to folkloric music and everything in between. 


“For our project to be acknowledged at an international level in an event of this magnitude has been a blessing.”

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