Early Years Jens Christian Bugge Wesseltoft was born February 1st, 1964 in Porsgrunn and raised in the neighbouring city of Skien, around 100km south-west of Oslo. Jazz music filled Bugges world from an early age by virtue of his Jazz guitarist father, Erik Wesseltoft. Bugge started practicing on the piano at age 3, and by the age of 7, he had begun taking lessons, but after a short time he stopped these, instead choosing to learn by himself. Bugge played tuba and the bass drum in his schools marching band, where he met Audun Kleive who gave him further insights into the world of jazz. Beginning with a punk band, Bugge has played in bands from around the age of 16. At that time he was also meeting with friends to jam at home in the basement, playing different kinds of material. Through his fascination with electronic sounds, Bugge soon bought his first synthesizer and electric piano. His growing fascination with electronic sounds culminated in his purchase of a synthesizer and an electric piano. In 1984, Bugge joined his father in Oslo to start preparatory school in music. However, once again Bugge avoided the constraints of a formal musical education, and chose self-education as his musical path; to this day he has not had any formal musical education. Growing up By the late 1980s in Oslo, Bugge became involved in different projects in the Norwegian pop/rock scene, and in some Norwegian jazz groups like U and Z, Et Cetera and Oslo Groove Company. Bugge was also in The Talisman Group from 1988. It was during this time that he became recognised as a talented pianist, and in 1989, he played for the first time with the Knut Risnæs Quartet at the trendy Oslo Jazzhouse. Shortly afterwards, Arild Andersen and Jan Garbarek made contact with him. Playing Among the Stars Having joined Arild Andersens band in 1990, Bugge participated in Sagn, Arild's commissioned work for Vossa Jazz. He was also part of the recording of this work for ECM (Bugge would appear again with Arild in the recording of Arv, ECM, 1994.) In the same year, he also participated in performing Jan Garbarek's commission for the Molde International Jazz Festival, Molde Canticle, and in its subsequent recording that appeared on Garbareks album I Took Up The Runes, ECM 1990. Bugge became more and more involved with the best musicians on the Norwegian jazz scene at that time.