It's not uncommon to stumble onto a YouTube video of a classic video game theme song cover some by a musician jamming in their mom's basement. But in the realm of musical gamer tributes, BD Jazz Duo is definitely on some next-level shit.
Started by Adam Bellotto and Robby Delosier, the duo has made a notable impression on listeners by putting a jazz twist on theme songs any gamer is guaranteed to recognize. Who ever said jazz had to be boring?
“The music of the video game really makes the emotion,” Delosier tells the Weekly. “It’s a good time to be a geek.”
It certainly is a good time to be a geek, especially for Delosier and Bellotto. Bellotto was offered a record deal prior to forming the duo and decided he wanted to play video game music once he began collaborating with Delosier. Since BD Jazz Duo's genesis three months ago, the duo has already managed to play dozens of shows throughout Orange County and score designated slots at restaurants every week. Their unparalleled take on music has caught plenty of folks' attention. And rightfully so.
It's a no-brainer that in order to play jazz versions of video game songs that you have to be an avid video game player. A few of Bellotto and Delosier’s all-time favorite video games include Final Fantasy, Super Mario, Kirby, Dragon Quest, Duck Hunt, and none other than The Legend of Zelda. Delosier relishes video games so much that he even has a USB Nintendo controller so he can play on his phone.
Bellotto moved from Virginia and made his way to Southern California, where he would join a band Delosier was a part of. The duo started when Bellotto and Delosier wanted to take a different direction with their musical endeavors. Since then, the two have been instilling nostalgia for anyone who has played practically any classic video game. Ah, the sweet memories of destroying Ganon.
Video game music is typically interpreted as background music to most players. It's rarely noticed until you hear it playing outside of the game. (I once thought I heard the Mortal Kombat theme playing at the mall and tried finding where it was coming from for nearly half an hour…) The point is, you immediately recognize it when you hear it – many people do whenever BD Jazz Duo plays. They play an average of three hour long sets, and the songs that get the most crowd reactions are the Zelda, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros. themes. At nearly every gig, someone will shout out what video game the song they're playing is from. Geeks unite!
“You hit this part that you've played a million times and this nostalgia rage just hits you,” says Bellotto.
Although covering video game music is their shtick, Bellotto and Delosier also play movie and TV themes including From My Neighbor Totoro, Monk, and Toy Story. It's no wonder these guys have gotten so much recognition in the short time span that they've been playing music.
Bellotto and Delosier are in the midst of a few major projects. They are currently working on releasing a music video as well as negotiating a record deal in order to release an album by spring 2017. They are also working on arranging to play at The Filmmakers' Gallery in Long Beach – where they will potentially be a part of a concert series, Christmas show, and become a regular feature performing movie music for their Oscar parties, TV music for the Emmy Awards, and Broadway music for the Tony Awards.
Want BD Jazz to play at one of your parties? Book them and you (and the rest of the guests) will be able to pick one song and hear it played in their style.
BD Jazz Duo performs at Salvatore Italian Restaurant in Montebello on Dec. 17, 5 p.m. Free admission. For more show dates, click here.
Yvonne Villasenor is often in a sleep deprived daze daydreaming about ’90s heartthrobs, dogs, upcoming album releases, and what she’s going to eat for dinner. When she snaps back to reality, she writes about OC’s latest music and artists.