First and foremost a double-bass player, composer, jazz and musiqueactuelle performer, he is very active in the provincial and national musicscenes and is highly regarded in the field. The tone, rhythm, and style of Guilbeault explain why he has played with Montréal’s most creativemusicians (Jean Derome, Robert Marcel Lepage, Pierre St-Jak, René Lussier,and others) and why he has recently teamed up with excellent singers (suchas Lou Babin and Geneviève Letarte). Out of his ambitious projects havecome accomplished and very inspired and spirited works (Hommage à Mingusand RIEL Plaidoyer Musical). Along with other musicians (Pierre St-Jak, François Marcaurelle, and Jean Vanasse) is also the prime mover, programplanner, and organizer behind the Montréal OFF Festival de Jazz, at whichhe presented the first part of his PARKEROUAC, a project wedding poetry andjazz.
Normand Guilbeault, who first became known through his work with Jean Beaudet, Yannick Rieu, Nelson Symonds, Bernard Primeau, and other jazz musicians, has gained public acclaim with the Normand Guilbeault Ensemble (winner of the Prix de Jazz duMaurier at the 1994 Festival international de Jazz de Montréal), whose 1994 album Dualismus [Red Toucan] was followed by Basso Continuo in 1995 and, with guest artist Jean Derome, Hommage à Mingus in 1996 [both on Justin Time]. The Jazz Report Magazine (Canada) voted the ensemble “Acoustic Group of the year” for 1997.
Since 1995 some of the people he has worked with have included Jean Derome (on music for film, theatre and dance, and as part of a jazz trio and a jazz quartet), René Lussier (Les Boudines, Pour un Punch Hawaiien, music for film), Robert Marcel Lepage (music for film, theatre and dance), Michel F Côté (Bruire / Les Chants Rupestres, and music for dance), and trombonist Tom Walsh with the group NOMA.
In May 1998, the 15th Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville opened with his most recent project, Riel, which brought together thirteen of Montréal’s most creative musicians and two talented narrators. He also presented the work at the Open Waters Festival of New and Improvised Music in Halifax, and at the Lion d’Or in Montréal on 20 and 21 February 1999. Recordings of these concerts were used to produce the double album entitled Riel Plaidoyer musical / Musical Plea, which appeared on the Ambiances Magnétiques label [AM 073] on 15 November 1999. Recently, performance of Normand Guilbeault’s Riel project, in Confederation Park, was one of a the highlights of the Ottawa International Jazz Festival (July 17, 2000).