Bugge Wesseltoft

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Bugge Wesseltoft
Bugge Wesseltoft wearing a light checkered shirt, sitting behind a piano, grinning broadly and looking left of camera
Wesseltoft in 2016
Background information
Birth nameJens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft
Born (1964-02-01) 1 February 1964 (age 60)
Porsgrunn, Norway
  • Musician
  • composer
  • music producer

Jens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft (born 1 February 1964) is a Norwegian jazz pianist, composer, and producer, son of jazz guitarist Erik Wesseltoft.[1]


Bugge Wesseltoft (with John Scofield) at Moers Festival 2006, Germany
DJ Bugge at Nattjazz 2016
in Bergen, Norway

In 1989, Wesseltoft collaborated with the Knut Riisnæs Quartet and was soon after contacted by Arild Andersen to join in on commissioned work for Vossajazz—released on the album Sagn (1990)—and the follow-up Arv (1993).[citation needed] He worked with Jan Garbarek on his Molde Canticle, a commission from Moldejazz, released on the 1990 album I Took Up the Runes.[1]

Wesseltoft had an impact on the Norwegian jazz scene at the beginning of the 1990s while going through a transition from Nordic jazz traditions, exemplified by the ECM label, to a style sometimes referred to as "future jazz" or nu jazz.[citation needed] Thereafter, he toured extensively on the international jazz scene, performing both jazz and rock concerts, and on a series of recordings on his own Jazzland label.[citation needed] He collaborated with a series of artists in this period, such as guitarists Terje Rypdal and Jon Eberson, and in the mid-1990s, he toured and recorded the album Billy Cobham presents Nordic – Off Color, released in 1999, together with Billy Cobham.[citation needed] For many years, he also collaborated with experimental jazz vocalist Sidsel Endresen and was in the lineup for her commissioned work at Moldejazz in 1993, which was released on the album Exile a year later.[citation needed] His own commissioned work A Little War Story for Vossajazz was also performed in 1993.[citation needed]

Wesseltoft formed his own band, New Conception of Jazz, in 1995, and their first album, New Conception of Jazz, was awarded a Spellemannprisen in 1996, the same year it was released.[2]

Firmly committed to electronic music, Wesseltoft completely eschews acoustic forms and is just as adamant that he will not be tied by genre boundaries, bringing hip hop and other contemporary dance music forms into his concept of contemporary jazz.[citation needed] On the album Sharing (1998), many listeners were taken by surprise by his extensive use of club DJs and scratchers.[2]

His track "Existence" can be heard in Philippe Harel's movie Extension du domaine de la lutte, an adaptation of Michel Houellebecq's 1994 novel.[citation needed]

After working with Dan Berglund on his 2014 album Trialogue, Wesseltoft founded the jazz trio Rymden, adding Magnus Öström on drums.[citation needed] They had their first appearance at the Nattjazz Festival in Bergen in 2017.[citation needed] According to Wesseltoft, they began work on a debut album after this successful performance.[citation needed] Further appearances followed in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019, Rymden recorded their first album, Reflections & Odysseys.

John Kellman of All About Jazz magazine noted Wesseltoft's solo performance at The Punkt Festival, Kristiansand, Norway, as one of his 25 "Best Live Shows of 2013".[3]


Selected discography[edit]


  • It's Snowing on My Piano (1997)
  • New Conception of Jazz (1997)
  • Sharing (1998)
  • New Conception of Jazz: Moving (2001)
  • New Conception of Jazz Live (2003)
  • New Conception of Jazz: Film Ing (2004)
  • IM (2007)
  • New Conceptions of Jazz (2008)
  • Songs (2011)
  • Last Spring (2012)
  • Trialogue (2014)
  • OK World (2014)
  • Bugge & Friends (2015)
  • Everybody Loves Angels (2017)
  • Bugge Wesseltoft & Prins Thomas (2018)
  • Be Am (2022)

With Rymden[edit]

  • Reflections & Odysseys (2019)
  • Space Sailors (2020)
  • Live In Umeå’' (2020 – From a live performance at the Umeå Jazz Festival in October 2019)


With Finn Coren

  • The Blake Project: Spring (1997)
  • The Blake Project: Spring: The Appendix (1998)
  • Lovecloud (1999)

With Jan Eggum

  • Dacapo (1990)
  • Underveis (1991)
  • Nesten Ikke Tilstede (1993)
  • Deilig (1999)
  • Kjaerlighet & AErlighet 2 (2011)

With Bjorn Eidsvag

  • Til Alle Tider (1992)
  • Landet Lenger Bak (1995)
  • Rundt Neste Sving (2010)

With Sidsel Endresen

  • Exile (1994)
  • Nightsong (1994)
  • Duplex Ride (1998)
  • Undertow (2000)
  • Out Here. In There. (2002)

With Laurent Garnier

  • The Cloud Making Machine (2004)
  • The Cloud Making Machine Reworks (2005)
  • Retrospective (2006)
  • Public Outburst (2007)

With Knut Reiersrud

  • Soul of a Man (1998)
  • Sub (1999)
  • Gitar (2009)

With Oystein Sunde

  • Du Ma'kke Komme Her Og Komme Her (1994)
  • Sann Er'e Bare (2005)
  • Bestefar (2016)

With Vamp

  • Godmorgen, Soster (1993)
  • Horisonter (1994)
  • 13 Humler (1996)
  • Flua Pa Veggen (1998)
  • St. Mandag (2008)

With others


  1. ^ a b c Halvorsen, Tore (13 February 2009). "Bugge Wesseltoft Extended Biography". Norsk Biografisk Leksikon (in Norwegian). Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Kelman, John (4 March 2009). "Bugge Wesseltoft: New Conception of Jazz Box Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  3. ^ Kelman, John (13 December 2013). "John Kelman's Best Live Shows of 2013". All About Jazz. Retrieved 14 December 2013.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Recipient of the Jazz Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Kongsberg Jazz Award
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Open class Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Jazz Gammleng-prisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Open class Spellemannprisen
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Buddyprisen
Succeeded by