Bugge Wesseltoft: “The new” New Conception of Jazz

Pianist, composer and producer Bugge Wesseltoft is celebrating two major anniversaries this year – 20 years since the release of the first New Conception of Jazz album and 20 years of the record label Jazzland Recordings.

The Norwegian artist is going to mark the double jubilee with a series of performances with a new quintet of young Norwegian female artists: saxophonist and vocalist Marthe Lea, guitarist Oddrun Lilja Jonsdottir, drummer and vocalist Siv Øyunn Kjenstad and percussionist Sanskriti Shrestha, who are going introduce “the new” New Conception of Jazz alongside Wesseltoft by performing new material, but also old compositions like You Might Say, Existence and Change.

New Conception of Jazz became one of the leading representatives of electronic, or so called Nu Jazz in the nineties. The ensemble of changing members led by Wesseltoft played more than 400 concerts around the world and released five albums between 1996 and 2004. It held its last performances in 2006. Among numerous New Conception of Jazz personnel were also artist whose concerts we had the chance to watch and listen to within Jazz Fest: trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, guitarist Eivind Aarset, vocalist Sidsel Endresen, saxophonist Håkon Kornstad and drummers Audun Kleive and Paolo Vinaccia.

Parallel to Wesseltoft’s “new jazz concept” his record label Jazzland Recordings sprouted. In the past 20 years it released more than 100 albums by noted figures in Norwegian jazz, among them two live concerts recorded at Jazz Fest Sarajevo – Live in Sarajevo, a recording of Håkon Kornstad’s 2014 Sarajevo concert and the release Very Much Alive by Paolo Vinnaccia with a recording of a concert by the Terje Rypdal Group held at Jazz Fest in 2002.

Jazz Fest audiences listened to Bugge Wesseltoft at the 11th edition of the festival in 2007 when he performed a solo piano concert and played with the ensemble Jazzland Community, introducing some of Norwegian scene’s new artists.

Watch Bugge Wesseltoft in a short video introducing, as he called it “The new New conception of Jazz”.

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