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Thouin, Guy
GT2 · Person · 1940-

Guy Thouin is a musician and artist born on April 10, 1940, in Montreal. He studied percussion with a private tutor from 1959 to 1960, and during the early 60s, started playing drums at bars in Montreal. He graduated from l’École d’Optique du Québec in 1964 and worked as an optician for a year before he began his studies in fine arts at l‘École des Beaux-arts de Montréal. From 1969 to 1970, Thouin studied classic percussion at McGill University under Pierre Béluse. From 1971 to 1976 he studied Indian music in Pondicherry and Calcutta, India, specializing in Tabla.

In 1967, Guy Thouin, along with Yves Charbonneau, Jean Préfontaine, and Maurice C. Richard, became one of the founding members of Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec, originally known as Quatuor du nouveau jazz libre du Québec. The band played in several Montreal bars, colleges and Universities around Quebec, until they disbanded in 1974. In 1969, Thouin also joined L’Infonie, an avant-garde group where he played with Walter Boudreau and Raôul Duguay until 1971 when Thouin decided to leave both bands to study music in India. After returning to Montreal from India, Thouin rejoined the Montreal jazz scene and collaborated with several artists and musicians, including the band Mirage, which was a Montreal Jazz Festival finalist in 1985. In 1989, he founded the Heart Ensemble, a quintet of guest musicians that performed Guy Thouin’s compositions for over 20 years at cultural centres and bars in Montreal, Ottawa, Joliette, and several other cities around the province of Quebec. Many of these performances were recorded and broadcasted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In 2012, along with Bryan Highbloom, Thouin founded the Nouveau Jazz Libre du Québec, playing several concerts, including one at the Suoni Pel II Popolo Festival.

Thouin composed Rien ô tout ou linéaire un, an immersive sound experience, while studying at McGill University. This sound environment was created for a work by visual artist Roland Poulin and was exhibited in 1971 at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Since 2015, Guy Thouin continues to compose, play, and perform along with Félix-Antoine Hamel, in a new version of the Heart Ensemble called From the Basement, which invites musicians to play with them in their basement, and explore different avenues of the “free jazz” movement.