Laurent Gehant (direction, composition, piano, keyboards)
Self-taught, from jazz, literature and the clown world, he wrote show music (Cie Tourneboulé for theatre, Laurence Renn for clowns, Cie Zig-Zag for dance), and in 2002 he put together a musical about Calamity Jane. Since 2001 he has performed with and composed for the Surnatural Orchestra (a crazy and large Parisian orchestra) as well as with the dancing band Bringuebal.
In 2008 he started Tangoleon. Keen on Argentine culture (literature, music and cinema), and convinced about having a body double in Buenos Aires (as in Hopscotch, the book by Julio Cortazar), he makes regular trips back and forth between France and Argentina, forming friendships with the ‘young guard’ of tango there (Astillero, Altertango, OT Imperial…).
Caroline Pearsall (violin)
Passionate about tango (she also plays classical and contemporary music), Caroline has played with some of the most prestigious tango groups like the Grand Orchestra of Juan José Mosalini, Daniel Melingo, La Chicana, Orquesta Tipica Imperial, Amelitar Baltar, Fleurs Noires, Orquesta Escuela, Ars Nova and Alma Viva.
She has worked on films, TV, radio. In 2011 she started the London Tango Orchestra, the only big tango orchestra in the UK. She is currently writing a book on tango violin history. She shares her detailed knowledge of tango with Serpientes as well as her melodic phrasing.
Sabine Balasse (Cello)
Graduate of the Royal Brussels Conservatoire, Sabine has a large musical experience and plays a range of styles: Classical, contemporary (Ensemble Intégrale), world music (Ensemble Nord§Sud), chanson francaise (Valérie Mischer, Wladimir Anselme) and also collaborates with the jazzmen Rigolus, DPZ, Régis Huby and Médéric Collignon. In the centre of her interests lies the tango, with her all-female sextet Las Malenas, of which she is the co-founder. This high-level group performs compostitions and original arrangements with great care and attention to detail. Like Caroline, she brings her extensive knowledge of tango performance and style into the group
Jean-Pascal Molina (drums)
He developed his musicianship through jazz and improvisation, and he has created a very personal way of playing which allows him to slip into tango (music usually without percussion) like slipping into velvet. On the look-out for interesting meetings, he recorded 3 albums with the saxophonist Yoch’ko Seffer, performed with Surnatural Orchestra for years, played with John Tchicai, Bobby Few, Didier Levallet, Méderic Collignon, Didier Malherbe, Stéphane Guillaume, … He also works in theatre shows and film-concerts. He infuses groove and trance into Serpientes
Claude Whipple (electric guitar, voice, lyrics)
From improvised music to funk, from electronic music to jazz, from hip-hop to folk, he is everywhere. He founded the quintet Quinte & Sens (cd Karibu in 2003, Copeaux in 2009 ) and co-directed the Zhig-Band for several years whilst also appearing in very varied contexts (funk, electronic music, jazz) With his associate David Neerman, he invented The Lips*, an un-classable group. Since 2006 Claude has been the guitarist and vocalist with Flox (electro reggae) with 5 albums to his name. He also coordinates the departments of jazz and amplified music in the Bondy and Pantin Conservatoires. Uruguayan-Franco-American, he alternates distorted guitar solos and sung tangos with melodious rage.
Sophie Azambre Le Roy (accordion, kaossilator)
Artistic Director of the multi-disciplinary company La Toute Folle for 10 years (7 shows, which included the opening of Paris-Plage in 2007), this photographer, street performer cum musician has trained herself in jazz, improvisation, sound painting, electric guitar and kaossillator. She composes for the Company L’Embellie Musculaire, is the accordionist with Bringuebal since 2002, sings and plays guitar with the chanson electro-punk duo Savon Tranchand, and in 2009 she discovered the chromatic bass accordion and is currently immersing herself in learning it. Co-founder of Tangoleon (quartet) with Laurent, she infuses in Serpientes complex singing lines with her accordion and techno out-bursts with the kaossilator.
Manu Bosser (harmonicas, all kinds of other instruments from his suitcase)
Self-taught, he plays the harmonica like no other. Not jazz, not blues, not trad. Used to intense jam-sessions and invited by a multitude of musicians, from Bevinda to Kingsnikes or Lavach’, he performs with the duo Sevane & Manu, with the dance company Nadja with a story teller and martial arts master in Les Destinées Perdues. He can be described as a ethno-eclectic musician, an adept of world music and with an over-flow of instruments, he also plays the nose whistle, the table lamp, the castanets, the shruti box, the doudouk, the mouth organ….and even created a solo show, Souffles du Monde, with a whirlwind tour of world wind instruments. In Serpientes he injects fire with his solos, and brings in surprising percussive timbres with the thousand sonorities of newly discovered instruments.
Mathieu Barbances (Double-Bass)
From classical training, he turned towards political musical theatre and became a member of the company Jolie Môme for 10 years (7 shows, 600 gigs) for which he composed and appeared as Musical Director for the recording of 6 CDs. Singer and double bassist in Bringuebal since 2003, singer-musician-actor-technician for shows for young audiences at the Theatre Buissonnier, and shows for adult audiences with the company L’Embuscade. This insatiable dabbler has just created a solo show of songs for bass and voice under his name Mathieu Barbances. He has been a member of the quartet Tangoleon since 2008 and is the rhythmic mainstay, as well as the charmer.