Guillaume Dostaler

Portrait: Guillaume Dostaler

François Couture, AllMusic, June 15, 2002

A pianist and keyboardist based in Montréal, Guillaume Dostaler is what you can call a trusty sideman. He is a favorite collaborator among Ambiances Magnétiques artists and has appeared on records by Jean Derome, Robert Marcel Lepage, Joane Hétu, Patrice Desbiens and Nathalie Derome. His work with international artists has been limited, mostly because of his preference to remain in Montréal, but he played with Lawrence “Butch” Morris on his visit to the city. He is a gifted pianist with a mind opened to new ideas.

Dostaler had a classical music upbringing and studied piano at the renowned École Vincent d’Indy in Montréal. He started playing professionally in the early 1980s with a number of ensembles, mostly in jazz and new music, but also briefly performed funk. His first gigs included Karen Young, René Lussier, Lepage, and Derome. His seat in the latter’s avant-jazz group Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms throughout the 1990s is what brought him the most attention. With this group he recorded three CDs for the label Ambiances Magnétiques (Carnets de voyage, 1994; Navré, 1995; Torticolis, 1998) and appeared in dozens of jazz and new music festivals across Canada (Montréal, Vancouver, Guelph), the United States (Edgefest in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and Europe (Moers in Germany, Banlieues Bleues in Paris, France).

When Morris came to conduct a Montréal ensemble in 1995, Dostaler enlisted and so appears on the document Conduction 23 (1996, NewWorld). But his talent both as a cutting-edge improvisor and imaginative sideman are better illustrated on Derome’s witty Je me souviens and Hétu’s minimalist Musique d’hiver. He also toured Quebec as part of performance artist/singer Nathalie Derome’s trio for Les 4 Ronds Sont Allumés.

… a cutting-edge improvisor and imaginative sideman…