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Bugge Wesseltoft
Bugge Wesseltoft Cosmopolite (213414).jpg
Background information
Birth name Jens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft
Born 1 February 1964 (1964-02-01) (age 57)
Porsgrunn, Telemark, Norway
Genres Jazz, nu jazz, electronica
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, music producer
Instruments Piano, keyboards, electronic instruments, percussion
Labels Jazzland Recordings
ECM Records
Associated acts New Conception of Jazz

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


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

Wesseltoft was born in Porsgrunn. After high school in Skien, where he was involved in the school brass band and dance orchestras, he became a professional musician in 1983 only 19 years old. By the age of 16, he joined a punk rock band, but the influence of the jazz guitarist father, stalked on him. After moving to his father in Oslo (1984), it was mostly music with roots in jazz that mattered, although he also worked as a back-up musician and producer for the pop and rock elite in Norway. He had originally intended to study music, but the gigs were too many, and therefore he never got any further formal musical education. Towards the end of the 1980s Bugge Wesseltoft was involved in a variety of pop, rock and jazz bands like the "U and Z", "Et Cetera" and most important the Oslo Groove Company, and he was recognised as a coming musical genius with a great talent for the piano. This led to collaborations within the Knut Riisnæs Quartet in 1989, and he was soon after contacted by Arild Andersen to join in on the commissioned work for Vossajazz - released on the album Sagn (1990) - and the follow up Arv (1993), and Jan Garbarek for his Molde Canticle (1990), a commission from the Moldejazz, released on the album I Took Up the Runes (1990).

Bugge Wesseltoft had a great 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. There after he toured extensively on the international Jazz scenes, performing both jazz and rock concerts to live audiences, and on a series of recordings on his own Jazzland label. Bugge Wesseltoft collaborated with a series artists in this period, like the guitarists Terje Rypdal and Jon Eberson, and in the mid-1990s he toured and recorded the album Billy Cobham presents Nordic – Off Color (1999) together with Billy Cobham. For many years he collaborated with the experimental jazz vocalist Sidsel Endresen, and was in the lineup for her commissioned work at the Moldejazz in 1993, which was released on the album Exile (1994). His own commissioned work A Little War Story for the Vossajazz was also performed in 1993. Bugge Wesseltoft formed his own band the 'New Conception of Jazz' in 1995, and their first album New Conception of Jazz (1996), was awarded a Spellemannprisen in 1996.

During the 1990s the music of Bugge Wesseltoft found an audience on the Norwegian techno and dance music scenes. The connection with the club world led to the 2000 release of Jazzland Remixed, which enhanced his reputation even more with the younger audience. Firmly committed to electronic music, he 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. On the album Sharing (1998) many were taken by surprise by his extensive use of club DJ's and scratchers.

The track "Existence" could be heard in Philippe Harel's movie Extension du domaine de la lutte, an adaptation of Michel Houellebecq's 1994 novel.

After Wesseltoft liked working with Dan Berglund (on "Trialogue"), he decided to found a jazz trio with him. As a drummer he asked Magnus Öström. The band Rymden had their first appearance at the Nattjazz Festival in Bergen in 2017. According to Wesseltoft, the band began work on a debut album after this successful performance. Wesseltoft had the band signed on his Jazzland label. Further appearances followed in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019 Rymden recorded their first album, Reflections & Odysseys’'.

John Kellman of the All About Jazz magazine recognized Bugge Wesseltoft Solo appearance at The Punkt Festival, Kristiansand, Norway, September 2013, as one of his 25 "Best Live Shows of 2013".


  • 1996: Smugetprisen
  • 1996: Spellemannprisen in the class Jazz, for the album New Conception of Jazz
  • 1997: Kongsberg Jazz Award
  • 1998: Spellemannprisen together with Sidsel Endresen in the class Jazz, for the album Duplex Ride
  • 1999: Gammleng-prisen in the class Jazz
  • 2002: Spellemannprisen in Open class, for the album Out here, In there
  • 2004: Buddyprisen, awarded by The Norwegian Jazz Forum


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

With Rymden

  • 2019: Reflections & Odysseys (Jazzland Recordings), with Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund (Rymden)
  • 2020: Space Sailors (Jazzland Recordings), with Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund (Rymden)
  • 2020: Live In Umeå’' (Jazzland Recordings), with Magnus Öström and Dan Berglund (Rymden) - Taken from a live performance at the Umeå Jazz Festival in October 2019

As sideman

With Finn Coren

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

With Jan Eggum

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

With Bjorn Eidsvag

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

With Sidsel Endresen

  • Exile (ECM, 1994)
  • Nightsong (Curling Legs, 1994)
  • Duplex Ride (ACT/Curling Legs, 1998)
  • Undertow (Jazzland/EmArcy, 2000)
  • Out Here. In There. (Jazzland, 2002)

With Laurent Garnier

  • The Cloud Making Machine (F/PIAS, 2004)
  • The Cloud Making Machine Reworks (F/PIAS, 2005)
  • Retrospective (F/PIAS, 2006)
  • Public Outburst (F/PIAS, 2007)

With Knut Reiersrud

  • Soul of a Man (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1998)
  • Sub (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1999)
  • Gitar (Jazzland, 2009)

With Oystein Sunde

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

With Vamp

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

With others

  • Eivind Aarset, Electronique Noire (Jazzland/EmArcy, 1998)
  • Arild Andersen, Sagn (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1990)
  • Arild Andersen, Arv (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1994)
  • Maj Britt Andersen, Rippel Rappel (Grappa, 1994)
  • Baba Zula, Gecekondu (Doublemoon, 2010)
  • Beady Belle, Closer (Jazzland, 2005)
  • Beady Belle, On My Own (Jazzland, 2016)
  • Kirsten Bråten Berg, Syng Du Mi Royst (Grappa, 2001)
  • Mari Boine, Eight Seasons: Gavcci Jahkejuogu (Lean/EmArcy/Universal 2002)
  • Knut Buen, Tonebod (Nyrenning, 2008)
  • Tore Brunborg, Tid (Curling Legs, 1993)
  • Tore Brunborg, Gravity (Vossa Jazz, 2003)
  • Katia Cardenal, Canta Alf Proysen: Navegas Por Las Costas (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 1999)
  • Billy Cobham, Nordic (Eagle, 1996)
  • Dance with a Stranger, Look What You've Done (Norsk, 1994)
  • Lars Danielsson, Melange Bleu (ACT, 2006)
  • Rick Danko, Ridin' On the Blinds (Grappa, 1994)
  • Di Derre, Gym (Sonet, 1996)
  • Dollie de Luxe, Which Witch (Notabene, 1987)
  • Lisa Dillan, Change of Habit (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 2015)
  • Jon Eberson, Thirteen Rounds (Curling Legs, 1997)
  • Jon Eberson, Dreams That Went Astray (EmArcy/Jazzland, 2001)
  • Torun Eriksen, Glittercard (Jazzland/Universal, 2004)
  • Torun Eriksen, Prayers & Observations (Jazzland, 2005)
  • Jan Garbarek, I Took Up the Runes (ECM, 1990)
  • Jan Garbarek, Rites (ECM, 1998)
  • Gilberto Gil, O Sol De Oslo (Blue Jackel, 1998)
  • Gitarkameratene, Typisk Norsk (Grappa, 2010)
  • Dennis Gonzalez, Welcome to Us (GOWI 1994)
  • Aslak Hartberg, The Dancer (Oslo, 2013)
  • Jorn Hoel, Kjaerlighetens Teater (Polydor, 1991)
  • Bendik Hofseth, Planets, Rivers and...Ikea (Verve Forecast, 1996)
  • Tore Johansen, Earth Stills (Inner Ear, 2015)
  • Joyce, Just a Little Bit Crazy (Far Out, 2003)
  • Eero Koivistoinen, Altered Things (Timeless, 1992)
  • Audun Kleive, Bitt (Jazzland/EmArcy,)
  • Hanne Krogh, Hanne (Sonet, 1989)
  • Michael Krohn, Sovnlose Netter (Drabant Music, 2018)
  • Eva Kruse, In Water (Redhorn, 2014)
  • Ola Kvernberg, Night//Driver (Jazzland, 2006)
  • Nils Landgren, Christmas With My Friends (ACT, 2007)
  • Lava, The Rhythm of Love (Mercury, 1990)
  • Lars Lillo-Stenberg, Oslo, (Sonet, 2000)
  • Susanne Lundeng, Mot (Kirkelig Kulturverksted, 2011)
  • Mike Mainieri, Northern Lights (NYC, 2006)
  • Marilyn Mazur, Circular Chant (Storyville, 1995)
  • Marlui Miranda, 2 IHU Kewere: Rezar (ACT, 1997)
  • Nils Petter Molvaer, Remakes (Par/Sula, 2005)
  • The Monroes, Long Way Home (EMI/BMG, 1993)
  • Mungolian Jet Set, Beauty Came to Us in Stone (Jazzland, 2006)
  • Caecilie Norby, Arabesque (ACT, 2010)
  • Ost & Kjex, Cajun Lunch (Diynamic Music, 2010)
  • Ost & Kjex, Freedom Wig (Diynamic Music, 2015)
  • Anne Grete Preus, Millimeter (WEA, 1994)
  • Malika Makouf Rasmussen, Cairo (Rapid 2006)
  • radio.string.quartet.vienna, In Between Silence (Jazzland, 2017)
  • Terje Rypdal, Vossabrygg (ECM, 2006)
  • Kjetil Saunes, Lystyv (Norsk, 1993)
  • Henrik Schwarz, Scripted Orkestra (7k!, 2018)
  • Henrik Schwarz, In Spite of Everything (Sunday Music/Between Buttons, 2020)
  • Tim Scott, Everywhere I've Been (Waterfall, 1996)
  • Kenneth Sivertsen, Remembering North (NORCD 1993)
  • Solveig Slettahjell, Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic I Norwegian Woods (ACT, 2014)
  • Olav Stedje, Ei Gave Til Deg (Slager, 1990)
  • Torbjorn Sunde, Meridians (ACT, 1998)
  • Prins Thomas, Ambitions (Smalltown Supersound, 2019)
  • Prins Thomas, Bugge Wesseltoft Versions (Horisontal Mambo, 2016)
  • Knut Vaernes, Roneo (Curling Legs, 1993)
  • Knut Vaernes, Jacques Tati (Curling Legs, 1995)
  • Paolo Vinaccia, Very Much Alive (Jazzland, 2010)
  • Bengt-Arne Wallin, The Birth and Re-Birth of Swedish Folk Jazz (ACT, 1998)
  • Wax Poetic, On a Ride (Nublu, 2012)
  • Jens Wendelboe, Big Crazy Energy Band Vol. 2 (NOPA/NRK, 1994)
  • Erik Wesseltoft, Con Amor (Normann, 2004)
  • Erik Wesseltoft, To Someone I Knew (Normann, 2013)
  • Unni Wilhelmsen, Definitely Me (Mercury, 1997)
  • Unni Wilhelmsen, To Whom It May Concern (Mercury, 1996)
  • Dhafer Youssef, Digital Prophecy (Justin Time/(Enja, 2003)
  • Bertine Zetlitz, Morbid Latenight Show (Parlophone, 1998)
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