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A special project at 29th Akbank Jazz Festival:
Bugge Wesseltoft & Erkan Oğur & Friends

Blog
A special project at 29th Akbank Jazz Festival: Bugge Wesseltoft & Erkan Oğur & Friends

29.08.2019

Text: Yetkin Nural
Collage: Sadi Güran

Norwegian jazz artist, pianist, composer and producer Bugge Wesseltoft was recently on stage in Istanbul with his RYMDEN project that includes bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström. The legendary musician will visit the city again soon, on October 24 at Moda Sahnesi, this time to premiere a new project at the 29th Akbank Jazz Festival.

Wesseltoft announced his upcoming project with Erkan Oğur in a recent interview while he was here for the RYMDEN performance. Before Wesseltoft and Oğur takes the stage together for the first time at 29th Akbank Jazz Festival, here is a look at the highlights from both masters’ musical journeys.

Bugge Wesseltoft

  • Born in the the Norwegian town Porsgrunn, Wesseltoft started his first engagement with music at the high school brass and dance bands. By 1983, at the age of 19, he was already a professional musician.
  • After a short punk phase at 16, the musician got interested in jazz with the influence of his jazz guitarist father.
  • After his move to Oslo in 1984, Wesseltoft participated in various jazz, pop and rock bands both on stage and in studio.
  • Some of the bands that Wesseltoft was a part of in the 80’s are U and Z, Et Cetera and Oslo Groove Company.
  • Becoming a household name in the Norwegian jazz scene in the 90’s, Wesseltoft was also gaining a listener base in the country’s dance and techno scene.
  • Wesseltoft carries the network that he created with various genres into his own music and transcends the borders with different music genres with ease through this wide inspiration pool. He remains one of the rare names who can melt genres like EDM and hip-hop into his understanding of modern jazz.
  • Besides RYMDEN, his solo piano work, and countless collaborations, Wesseltoft’s other projects include New Conception of Jazz that brings jazz and EDM together; his trio with producer Henrik Schwarz and bassist Dan Berglund; as well as Bugge & Friends orchestra, which brings names such as Erik Truffaz, İlhan Erşahin, Joaquin “Joe” Claussell, Marius Reksjø, Erik Holm and Andreas Bye together.

Erkan Oğur

  • Born in Ankara, Erkan Oğur got involved with music through the violin and bağlama lessons he took in Elazığ where he spent his childhood.
  • After high school, Oğur continued his studies in Ankara University’s Physics department. After graduation, he went to Munich to study Physics Engineering in Ludwig-Maximilians University. It was during this period in Germany, when he decided to pursue music professionally and moved back to Turkey.
  • Erkan Oğur started to play the instrument that he was going to master, the guitar, in 1973. Later on, in 1976, he invented his first fretless classical guitar to be able to get the detailed sounds he wanted to produce.
  • In 1980, Oğur got in and continued his music studies in Istanbul Technical University Conservatoire. The first names that he accompanied with his fretless guitar was Turkey’s music legends Fikret Kızılok and Bülent Ortaçgil.
  • His first solo album, Searches (Arayışlar), came out in Germany in 1983. After the release he moved to United States to work with various blues masters including Robert ‘One Man’ Johnson.  
  • His 1994 album, Fretless, was recognized as one of the most creative albums of the year. Same album came out in Turkey a year later, under the name Bir Ömürlük Misafir (Guest for a Lifetime).
  • Erkan Oğur also composed music for films and documentaries like Sis, Eşkiya, Propaganda, Mommo, Kadim, Açlığa Doymak. He won the Best Film Music awards from Antalya Golden Orange Festival and Ankara International Film Festival in 2004 with the music he composed for Uğur Yücel’s Yazı Tura.
  • The master musician continues to make music with Telvin, which includes bass player İlkin Deniz and drummer Turgut Alp Bekoğlu. He also frequently records with multi-instrumentalist İsmail Hakkı Demircioğlu and bassist İlkin Deniz.

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