Featured Student: Bo Berg

“My name is Bjoern-Ove Berg Toennessen, but everybody calls me Bo Berg. I come from a small town outside Oslo, Norway called Fredrikstad. I started to play keyboards when I was six years old, and did that until I was about 12. Then I switched to guitar for a couple of years through high school. When I was 18, I started to play the piano again, and I did that until the age of 23. That is when I fell in love with the bass guitar. It was very hard to switch to a new instrument that late, but I was determined that bass was the right instrument for me, and I haven’t regretted it ever since.

Early on it was Jaco who influenced me the most, together with other great players such as Pino Palladino, Abraham Laboriel, Meshell Ndgeocello, David Fjelde, and Jonny Sjo (Berklee alumni from Norway). I played in various GB bands and small ensembles as a side gig to my day gig, which was managing a pizza restaurant. As the years went by, I felt the urge to take my playing further, and when I was 29 I decided that I needed to make some drastic changes in my life if I wanted to reach the goals I had set for myself, which was to be the best bass player I could be, and make a living playing my bass. That’s when I decided to follow my old dream, to get a scholarship from Berklee, and have the opportunity to go to America.”

“I’m now in my sixth semester, and I just have to say that this has been the best time of my life so far. I’ve learned so much stuff I didn’t know about music, and some very important things about my playing and myself as a person. There are so many resources at this school, and if you make an effort to take advantage of them, the reward will be great.

After Berklee, I wish to do what most performing musicians want: tour the world and play great music with great people and friends. Being on stage and playing music in front of an audience is the greatest feeling I know, and I will work as hard as it takes to get to that level where I can do this every day. Therefore I try to take advantage of all the great opportunities at Berklee that can make me grow as a musician and as a person.”

Watch Bo Berg perform at Berklee Bass Night here: