Lacombe began his musical learning with choral singing. He later trained as an organist, and continued his studies at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal and at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. He was assistant conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 1998, and later its principal guest conductor from 2002 to 2006. He was chief conductor and music director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens from 1990 to 2003. He became music director of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières (Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra) in 2006. In Europe, Lacombe was music director of the Philharmonie de Lorraine in Metz, France from 1998 to 2001.
In November 2008, Lacombe guest-conducted the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) for the first time. This appearance led to his appointment in October 2009 as the NJSO's 13th music director, effective with the 2010-2011 season. Lacombe held the title of music director designate for the 2009-2010 season. His initial contract as music director was for 3 years. In July 2012, the NJSO announced the extension of Lacombe's contract as music director through the 2015-2016 season.
- Ronni Reich (2010-04-19). "Jacques Lacombe is the new music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Peggy McGlone (2010-02-23). "Jacques Lacombe, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's new music man". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- Chanta Jackson (2008-11-10). "NJSO creates international harmony". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Appoints Jacques Lacombe as Music Director" (Press release). New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Peggy McGlone (2009-10-20). "New Jersey Symphony Orchestra names Jacques Lacombe as conductor". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Peggy McGlone (2009-10-20). "N.J. Symphony Orchestra names conductor to lead 'new era'". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Ronni Reich (2012-07-10). "Jacques Lacombe will stay on as NJSO music director". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- Nyier Abdou (2010-10-20). "Getting a close-up of Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2010-12-24.
- "Les récipiendaires de l'Ordre national du Québec" (Press release). Gouvernement du Québec. 28 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
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