About the Duo.
Waiheke based musicians Alex Ludbrook (Vocals) and Malcolm McMortone (Keys/Guitar/Vocals) teamed up in mid 2020 with over 50 years of experience between them including live performance, audio production & recording, songwriting, musical theater and music teaching to create a powerful, soulful and unique duo.
They hit the road running and have been performing nearly every weekend since at multiple venues including wineries, bars and restaurants such as Casita Miro, Aperitivo, Fenice, Wild on Waiheke, Sol Bar, RSA, Bowling Club, Charlie Farleys, Mudbrick, Alibi Lounge and more.
Their style is very much easy listening classics, classy love songs and ballads, mainly Soul, Jazz and R&B. They cover artists such as Etta James, Nora Jones, Amy Winehouse, Eva Casity, Dorris Day, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Ella Fitzgerald, Dusty Springfield and more.
Alex & Malcolm are extremely professional in their appearance, performance and presentation and come fully equipped with their own high quality PA. They are suitable for any occasion including bars & restaurants, private and corporate functions, weddings and festivals.
Malcolm's Personal Biography
Malcolm is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist with a music degree and over 30 years experience as a live performer,
Growing up in the deep south Malcolm began learning music at 6 years old learning music theory and my first instrument, cello. Malcolm moved on to bagpipes, a culture that is alive and well in the south, and was soon competing in solo competitions around the region then nationally with the City of Invercargill Highland Pipe Band who were grade 1 at the time.
During high school Malcolm traded cello for bass guitar, also picking up drums and guitar then forming my first originals band "The Bitch Boys". This band won Southland battle of the bands in 1996 then 2nd place and Otago University of the bands the following year, earning them free recording time and promotion.
Moving to Dunedin at this time Malcolm hit the covers circuit while studying for his first degree playing all around the south. Following this time he spent a few years working in Asia before returning to Otago in 2005 to study contemporary music and make a serious try for a career as a musician. He played bass in two covers bands, again playing all around the region and also formed 5 piece rock band "Made in China", writing, recording and producing their own material, touring the country multiple times and opening for countless acts including The Datsuns, Cat Empire and Dragon.
Relocating to Waiheke in 2010 he set up his own business as a music tutor at Te Huruhi Primary School and for the last decade has taught guitar, drums, piano and bass to literally hundreds of pupils. He continues to play in local bands Radio Rebelde and Hatchback and he loves playing with new musical partner AJ Brooks in venues all over the Island and beyond.
AJ's Personal Biography
In 1980, Alex was born into a life of music, her parents met on stage both playing the lead in many musicals. Alex quickly acquired her parents passion and was playing songs on the keyboard and singing as early as 18 months old. When Alex was 8, she started performing in musicals also and played the lead role in many shows. Alex was a strong dancer, she learned Ballet, Tap and Cabaret from the age of 6, for 8 years at the famous Rowley Studios in Auckland and completed a short acting course when she was 9.
Throughout Alex’s schooling she kept a strong focus on music. By 13 she was at the top of her school musically. She was accepted into one of Auckland's top school choirs where she was singled out to sing solo in the Sydney Opera House in 2015. At 16 (1996) Alex was accepted into ECELL School of Performing Arts where she studied a certificate in Contemporary Music Performance majoring in vocals, where she achieved exceptional grades with performance and vocal ability. In 2000 she started another certificate in Contemporary Music Performance at MAINZS (Music and Audio Engineering Institute of New Zealand).
After her studies, Alex gained a strong passion for R&B, Soul, Jazz & Trip Hop as well as dance music. She sang live with well known DJ at the time, Subtrax (now Eavesdrop) and spent much time in studios co-producing and writing/recording vocals. In 2005 she wrote the vocals for track “Find a Way”, produced by Subtrax, which was released on Empathy Recordings on a compilation album for New Zealand artists called “Is this Code”. Soon after she wrote vocals for the track “You can't stop me”. This was produced by Confucius & Mysterious D on their second album “Train of Thought” (Subfirma Records).
Alex moved to Melbourne in 2005, to further grow her musical capabilities and performance. She started writing her own music using skills gained in Audio Production and produced over 12 original songs which included her own lyrics and vocals. She performed them live at a number of venues across Melbourne. She also performed covers at weddings and functions and sang in bands with a variety of other musicians.
In 2019 Alex moved back to Auckland after 15 years in Melbourne with the aim to break into the New Zealand scene. Alex joined Auckland & Waiheke based Jazz Ensemble “Native” as lead vocalist. She performed at “Sculpture on the Golf '' after party at Art Works and also for the “Living Waters Fundraiser '' at Cable Bay Vineyard.
In early 2020 Alex met Malcolm McMortone who was her son's Music Teacher, they hit it off musically and started learning repertoire to create an unique duo. Only a few months after Alex and Malcolm started performing on the Island and have been performing nearly every weekend since. They have been performing regularly Mudbirck, Fenice, Vino Vinos, Artworks, Sol Bar, Charlie Farleys, Wild on Waiheke, RSA, Bowling Club, Aperitivo and an exclusive performance at Casita Miro. Their goal is to perform more at Weddings as their repertoire is very much suited to this, with a strong focus on Love Songs and Ballads by artists such as Eva Cassidy, Dorris Day, Etta James, Al Green, Amy Winehouse, Sam Smith, Aretha Franklin, Nora Jones and much more!