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, and held the post through the close of the 2017-2018 season. 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. He ended his tenure with the NJSO at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 season. Composer Darryl Kubian dedicated his new composition O For a Muse of Fire to Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, who premiered the work in March 2015.
In August 2015, the Theater Bonn announced the appointment of Lacombe as the new chief conductor of Bonn Opera, effective with the 2016-2017 season, with an initial contract of 2 years. In June 2017, the Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse announced the appointment of Lacombe as its next music director and artistic director, effective September 1, 2018.
Lacombe and his wife Janet, who first met in 2003, married in 2004. Lacombe was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec in 2012, and a Member of the Order of Canada the following year.
- Ronni Reich (April 19, 2010). "Jacques Lacombe is the new music director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
- Peggy McGlone (February 23, 2010). "Jacques Lacombe, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's new music man". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
- "Jacques Lacombe quitte l'Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières". Le Journal de Montréal. 2018-08-31. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
- Chanta Jackson (November 10, 2008). "NJSO creates international harmony". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- "The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Appoints Jacques Lacombe as Music Director" (Press release). New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. October 20, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Peggy McGlone (October 20, 2009). "New Jersey Symphony Orchestra names Jacques Lacombe as conductor". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Peggy McGlone (October 20, 2009). "N.J. Symphony Orchestra names conductor to lead 'new era'". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Ronni Reich (July 10, 2012). "Jacques Lacombe will stay on as NJSO music director". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
- Ronni Reich (October 8, 2014). "Music director Jacques Lacombe to leave New Jersey Symphony Orchestra". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Reich, Ronnie (March 24, 2015). "NJSO Plays Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Kubian". The Star Ledger. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
- "Lacombe wird Chefdirigent an der Oper Bonn" (Press release). Theater Bonn. August 24, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.[permanent dead link]
- "Jacques Lacombe nouveau directeur de l'OSM". L'Alsace. June 29, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
- Nyier Abdou (October 20, 2010). "Getting a close-up of Jacques Lacombe and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
- "Les récipiendaires de l'Ordre national du Québec" (Press release). Gouvernement du Québec. May 28, 2012. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012.
- "Order of Canada:Jacques Lacombe". The Governor General of Canada. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- Jacques Lacombe official website
- Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières French-language biography
- Colbert Artists Management Inc.
- Marie-Thérèse Norris, 'Married to the Maestro – the Prelude'. The French Touch blog, 27 March 2012
| Artistic Director, Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières
| Music Director, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
| Chief Conductor, Theater Bonn
| Music Director, Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse