Donna Khalifé Quintet

The Donna Khalifé Quintet is a project which brings together musicians from Lebanon and from France featuring: Pierre Tereygeol on guitar, Philippe Lopes de Sa on saxophones, Florent Corbou on electric bass, Khaled Yassine on drums and Donna Khalife on vocals and double bass.

It is the result of many musical and human encounters and a continuous research in music. The project intertwines written and free improvised music, in a coherent speech that resonates with the musicians' individual experiences.

The writing and the interpretation of the music were guided by two main ideas:

Unpredictability - in structure, meter, melody and harmony - which surprises the senses and incites emotions.

Free improvised music - free of labels and boundaries, inciting sincerity and humility. The most universal, transparent, and open way to approach music.

Heavy Dance, the first album recorded by the quintet with music written by Donna Khalifé, is released and available on all digital platforms (itunes, deezer, spotify, bandcamp, cdbaby, amazon....)

The physical form is available At:

Onomatopoeia The music Hub - Achrafieh

Salon Beyrouth - Clemenceau

Molo - Badaro

Metro al Madina - Hamra

Music now - Hamra

Virgin Megastores - all branches and duty free


Heavy Dance

The album consists of 6 original compositions punctuated by 4 freely improvised pieces.  It presents a variety of less defined genres while maintaining a clear musical identity; all of which is inspired by genuine emotions and ideas absorbed from individuals, states of mind, and experiences throughout 12 years spent between two cultures.

The pieces seek to explore different possibilities in arrangement while capitalizing on the risks taken by and the uniqueness of each of the 5 musicians in this contemporary jazz project.

Heavy Dance is a tribute to all the factors that shape our own balance and mostly an attempt to motivate people to go beyond the “established”.




Philippe Lopes de Sa

Philippe Lopes de Sa started playing the saxophone at the age of 12,  and discovers jazz and improvisation in his teenage years where he was immediately fascinated by the freedom and rigor that they trigger.

As a graduate of the Conservatoire du Val Maubuée, Philippe is an open and eclectic musician. He gained diverse experiences from working on different projects like big band, jazz funk and free improvisation. He is invested in the contemporary jazz scene with musicians such as Florent Corbou, Pierre Tereygeol, Dominique Muzeau, and Bruno Wilhem. He has collaborated with Cristian Lotito 's Svengus septet with Simon Goubert, Sebastien Texier, Philippe Lacarriere as well as Alexandre Julita's Ensemble Swingendo. He performs in Paris and New York with Afuriko and Jim Funnell's Word Out with Akiko Horii, Jeff Boudreaux andMatyasSzandai.

His passion for contemporary jazz and free improvised music led him to be part of Donna Khalife's Quintet with whom he recorded in July 2016 in Beirut. Philippe is also a member of the fanfare Grand Marabout, Jean-Phillipe Bondy Quartet, and the Fringe Youth Jazz Ensemble (concert at Malta Jazz Festival 2016). Philippe is also passionate about jazz transmission (concerts-conferences, saxophone classes, jazz combos, orchestra conducting). He holds a jazz state diploma (CeFeDem de Rueil Malmaison), and he teaches at the Conservatoire d'Evry.



Pierre Tereygeol

He started his music studies at the age of 21. He holds a bachelor degree from the university Val d'Essone, Evry.

Pierre took harmony, composition and electro-accoustic classes with Nicolas Verin after obtaining a classical guitar diploma with Michel Rolland and a jazz diploma with Guillaume Roy, Philippe Lacarriere and Thierry de Micheaux at the Conservatoire d'Evry.

He participated in many workshops and masterclasses given by Dominique Pifarely, Vinko Globokar, Benat Atchiary, Francois Raulin,Tania ,Sebastien Brun,Clement Edouard,Yoann Durant,Francois Merville, and Bumcello, among others.

Pierre took part in different projects which allowed him to give concerts at Gibus, Rackam, New Morning, L'Ogress theatre, 104, "Festival de la Guitare de Paris", the "Correspondances de Manosque" festival, the "Rendez-Vous de l'Ethique d'Evry", and the Arènes de L'Agora, etc...

As a musician with an unconventional path, Pierre develops his own language by his playing, his improvisation and his composing that he employs in bold projects.




Florent Corbou

He started playing the piano at the age of eleven while he was oriented, due to limited places, to pursue electonic keyboard classes at the Conservatoire d'Evry. Exploring the electronic world and the ondes Martenot was a revelation that led himto open up to the contemporary and electroacoustic music. At 16, after discovering rock, funk, and the music of Jaco Pastorius, he gets exposed to the jazz field and opted for the electric bass. A few years later, he gets a diploma in bass and jazz.

For several years, he gets engaged in different projects as sideman offering him an entry point into professional music. Bit by bit, evidently, he builds his path along the lines of European jazz, free improvisation, and writing music. He initiated the PANTIN trio in 2007 through which he developsa personal sound in his writing and approach to the instrument. He composed several pieces for the contemporary danse company AGORA and experiments with different forms of improvisation in dance, video, and graphic art. With a diploma in applied arts from Boulle school, he maintains a close relationship with contemporary arts. In 2012, he initiates the ORGANIC quintet where minimalist and contemporary influence to composing is refined towards a more acoustic aesthetics.

In parallel, he teaches jazz and electric bass at the conservatories of Fontainebleau and Ulis since 2007.




Khaled Yassine

A self taught musician, mostly known for his work with Anouar Brahem Quartet, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh and ALif, Khaled Yassine’s unique approach to percussions made him one of most sought-after musicians in the region.

He is also known for his collaborations with different art forms, he composed music for various creations:

"Garden of love" a theater production by Lara Kanso

”Battle scene”  atheater production by Zoukak theater company

“Leap into color” a video installation by Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld

“monumentum” a documentary by Fadi Yeni Turk

“Lucena,obedience training” a theater productions by Zoukak theater company

“entretemps 2” a collaboration with contemporary dancer Khouloud Yassine

 An eclectic musician, his curiosity and openness led him to explore a wide range of percussions and to work with musicians of diverse musical genres.


Heavy Dance Reviews:

ALl About Jazz : HRAYR ATTARIAN (MARCH 14,2017)

Lebanese bassist and vocalist Donna Khalife is an accomplished and prize winning musician. A child prodigy she received a premier education both in Lebanon and France and has forged lasting relations with musicians from both countries. Her quintet's debut release, Heavy Dance, is a testament to her multi-pronged talent as it showcases Khalife leading the band through a series of intriguing original compositions and improvisations. 

The various pieces do not abide by a single motif and often evolve and transform with a dramatic flair. The engaging "Ri mineur" opens with a wistful touch as saxophonist Philippe Lopes de Sa mirrors, with his evocative phrases, Khalife's rich voice and agile song and the deep woody tones of the contrabass. Khalife's own bass reverberations, and electric bassist Florent Corbou's muscular strings together with guitarist Pierre Tereygeol's complex lines frame the haunting sax, vocal duet. Drummer Khaled Yassine propels the music forward with his crisp, brief bursts of thunderous beats. The mood becomes more expectant with Corbou soloing over atmospheric, punctuating percussion, leading to Lopes de Sa's lyrical soliloquy. Seamlessly the group interplay becomes passionate with a rock-inspired sound. Lopes de Sa blows fiery refrains as his colleagues lay down riotous and energetic rhythmic flourishes. 

Not all the tracks are as intricately constructed. Some of the shorter ones are powerful collective extemporizations that pack an intellectual and emotive punch. The mystical "Hope?" for instance features Khalife's ethereal wordless singing soaring with Lopes de Sa's melodic moan over a haunting string drone and Yassine's carefully timed thuds and thrums. Tereygeol takes centerstage with his introspective monologue that complements Lopes de Sa's pensive musings. Within its brief duration "Hope?" stirs and provokes. 

Khalife channels, throughout the album and within individual tunes, her various influences. The memorable and stimulating "International Unity" is simultaneously soulful and surreal. Lopes de Sa's twittering sax underscores the eloquence of Khalife's enunciation and the compelling poetry of the lyrics. Tereygeol introduces a funky swagger with his wah wah effects and Corbou enhances it with his erudite and conversational vamps. Khalife sings with facility and fluidly over the ensemble's delightfully dissonant, cinematic performance. 

Heavy Dance is an intelligent work that crackles with spontaneity and creative fervor. It is an auspicious start to Khalife's recording career and it demonstrates her brilliant and versatile artistry.

Track Listing: Opening; Ri mineur; Mendoza; Belmonte; Hope?; International Unity; Heavy Dance; The first and last collage; Koestlich; Karakol.

Personnel: Donna Khalife: vocals and double bass; Pierre Tereygeol: guitar; Philippe Lopes de Sa: saxophones; Florent Corbou: electric bass; Khaled Yassine: drums.

Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced