Twinkel Quintet

@Credit Photo Alexandra Wolf













In 2011, Maïwenn sets up 'Twinkel Quintet', an electro-acoustic experimental jazz band with singer Anissa BENSALAH, saxophonist Willy EKOUE, double-bass player Guillaume DUVIGNAU and drummer Julien VERDIER. Twinkel Quintet explores an unlimited repertory where freedom of expression and experimentation are revealed through Maïwenn compositions and arrangements of jazz standards, original acoustic browsing with stamps and appliances. For Maïwenn, the Twinkel Quintet represents, above all, a desire to access and develop a musical project based on her instrument, the harp, - an instrument that is little known in this kind of music, and which provides great scope for creativity. Indeed, the music of the Twinkel Quintet is music that is at the crossroads of jazz and contemporary music, full of moods and colors that awaken and challenge our curiosity.

Zin'Zac composed by Maïwenn Le Guyader

Quiétude composed by Maïwenn Le Guyader

Press book


The Twinkel Quintet is composed of five musicians with diverse ambitions and a mixed musical background. Their coming together marked the birth of a contemporary jazz ensemble, performing music that consists of unusual compositions; music that is inspired by a variety of influences, and with very original acoustic sounds.

Maïwenn Le Guyader playing an electro-acoustic harp is accompanied by the Algerian-Brazilian singer Anissa Bensalah, and by the saxophonist Willy Ekoué, the drummer Julien Verdier, and the double bass player Guillaume Duvigneau.

The group’s desire to develop an innovative project based around the harp offers great scope for creativity; their music takes us on a journey of rare diversity, at the crossroads of jazz and contemporary music.

45th Summer Festival of Gargilesse - August 22 – 26, 2012

The festival ended with a performance by the talented and popular Twinkel Quintet.

Maïwenn Le Guyader played her amplified harp, a performance beautifully supported by the quintet’s singer, double bass, soprano saxophone and drums.

Each year, we like to invite artists to Gargilesse so that they can discover what is known as “one of the most beautiful villages of France”, and the superb acoustics of its Romanesque church. We also like the fact that the young students of the harp at the Pierre Jamet International Harp Academy are inspired by the presence in our town of well known musicians. And when one day these students themselves have also entered the ‘Hall of fame’ as successful artists, they too want, in their turn, to return and perform at our festival. An example of this is Maïwenn, who studied here with Corinne Le Du. She was later admitted to EDIM, at their school in Cachan, and this opened for her the doors to the world of jazz music.

Most of the program consisted of the personal compositions of Maïwenn Le Guyader, and her music shows proof of a definite musical inventiveness. The mellow tone of the soprano sax enhanced the sound of her harp, and the instruments blended beautifully with the singer’s voice. There was a real ease and a self confidence in the refrains played by each performer, and their combined talent ensured us of an evening of exceptional charm and beauty.

This report was published by Anne Ricquebourg (the directrice of the Festival)

La Nouvelle République

Indre – Gargilesse-  Dampierre

Harpists and flutists close the proceedings

The final chords of harp and flute, last Sunday afternoon, were heard in the church of Gargilesse, where the students of the Pierre Jamet International Harp Academy gave their end of course concert.  Since last August 11, twelve young musicians were assembled in this village – one that has inspired so much musical talent – to perfect their art under the guidance and direction of two great masters :  Ion Ivan Roncea for the harp, and Pierre-Yves Artaud for the flute.

The program featured harp and flute solos, and harp and flute duets, by composers including Tournier, Hasselmans, Ferroud and Bach. 

These young musicians delighted us with a musical afternoon that most effectively displayed the full range of their very promising talent.

The evening before this concert, and to mark the conclusion of the International Harp Festival, it was the Twinkel Quintet that offered us a lovely musical moment, - music at the crossroads of jazz and experimental contemporary works. The captive audience responded with resounding and enthusiastic applause.

My favorite things arrangement by Maïwenn for harp solo.    Live from the Harp festival in Gargilesse with the Twinkel Quintet.

Article from ‘La Nouvelle République’

Indre – Gargilesse – Dampierre – Festivals

The Twinkel Quintet will perform this Saturday evening. Something you shouldn’t miss: thrills and excitement guaranteed!

The very lovely harp festival is nearing its end.  This evening’s program features a really splendid quintet. And on Sunday, it is the interns’ turn to perform.

The beautiful harp festival of Gargilesse will end this weekend. After the superb opening concert given by the ‘Ensemble TM +’, it is the Twinkel Quintet that has the honor, this evening, of closing the week’s festival of what has been music of very high quality, in this township’s stunning Romanesque church. This band of musicians offers us a distillation of music that is at the crossroads of jazz, and where the harp finds its place with grace. During the afternoon before this concert, there will be a recital by the Japanese harpist Ruriko Yamamiya, winner of the first prize at the Lily Laskine international harp competition in 2011.

Tomorrow, Sunday, the interns of the Pierre-Jamet International Academy will perform, and this, again, promises to be an exciting concert.

The concert is free of charge, but the audience will be requested to make a small donation.

EDIM presents an evening at the Sunside


Sunday, 29 April at 8.30 p.m.

60, Rue des Lombards, Paris 75001

Here’s the third edition of this new rendezvous at the Sunside club! The EDIM school uses this club to bring you bands that were formed by musicians while they were students at this school, founded in Cachan in 1983. Here’s how it works: two groups play a set of 50 minutes each.  Then the third part of the evening, organized by the students, is a jam session that is open to all musicians from the Paris area.


The Twinkel Quintet is an unusual and different kind of musical entity, a group whose music transcends the world of jazz – a kind of crossroads between jazz and contemporary music. Their musical explorations feature a repertoire made up of original compositions based on the harp – an instrument that is so little known, and that is seldom used in music of this kind.

Anissa Bensalah :           Vocals   
Willy Ekoué   :                 Soprano saxophone
Guillaume Duvignau:     Double bass
ulien Verdier :               Drums
aïwenn Le Guyader:   Harp


A production called 'MaaSanké', composed and directed by Maïwenn Ekoué, based on the electro harp. This project will be perform by three to six musicians (the electro harp, balafon, saxophone, percussion instruments, double bass and voice).

MaaSanké brings together several artists from the African continent (Guinea and Togo) and from France.

Thanks to my electro harp - a symbol of a new generation of musical instruments!

Maïwenn extends her musical persona to an aural field that she renders even more creative by the use of a special effects pedal.

Reflexion composed by Maïwenn Le Guyader

Maïwenn LE GUYADER - compositions and electro harp

Dartagnan CAMARA - Djembe and Krin

Willy EKOUE - bass

Concert on live in Paris

Abdoulaye KOUYATE - Guitar

Sory DIABATE - Krin and djembe

Maïwenn LE GUYADER - electro harp

Willy EKOUE - bass

Concert on live on a barge in Paris

Abdoulaye KOUYATE - Kora

Maïwenn LE GUYADER - Harp

Willy EKOUE - Bass