Terje Gewelt was born June 8, 1960 in Oslo, Norway and grew up in Larvik, a small town on the southeastern coast. He started playing guitar at the age of 10, switched to electric bass at 14 and added acoustic bass at 17.
From 1979-81 he studied privately with the internationally recognized Norwegian bassist, Arild Andersen, and played in local jazz and fusion groups with, among others, the great Norwegian keyboardist Atle Bakken. In 1981, Terje went to the USA to study bass at the Bass Institute in Los Angeles. He studied electric bass with Jeff Berlin and acoustic bass with Bob Magnuson and played in jazz clubs around LA with guitarist Les Wise.
In 1982 he moved back to Oslo and spent a year playing with many of the best Norwegian jazz musicians. In 1983, Terje returned to the States, enrolling at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he met and played with many young and talented musicians from around the world, including saxophonists Tommy Smith and Donny McCaslin and pianists Christian Jacob, Danilo Perez and Laszlo Gardonyi. He also took private lessons with the legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius in New York.
Terje co-founded the acoustic jazz quartet Forward Motion with saxophonist Tommy Smith and released the recording Progressions. He was also a member of the American jazz / world music group Full Circle, playing on their first two recordings for CBS Sony.
In 1988, Terje was invited to California to work with Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, resulting in the recording Stiletto on RCA Novus which also featured Mark Isham on trumpet and Andy Summers and David Torn on guitars.
After 7 years in the USA, Terje moved back to Norway in 1989, soon becoming a first call bassist on the creative Norwegian jazz scene.
In 1995 he got a call to join Billy Cobham’s group. Terje played acoustic bass on two Cobham CD’s, Nordic and Off Color on Eagle Records.
In 1997 he started playing with Russian piano great Misha Alperin, recording two CD’s, North Story and First Impression (featuring John Surman) on ECM.
Terje has released 11 CD’s as a leader, all on Resonant Music. As a sideman, he has played bass on more than 100 jazz recordings. He keeps busy recording and touring, in and outside of Norway with his own projects and as a sideman.