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In an effort to reach and to satisfy a broader national and international audience of Jazz fans and musicians, I try not to “personalize” the posts that appear on this page, especially by delimiting them to a specific geographic area that many readers may not be able to reach.
But every so often, I make an exception to give a boost a local activity which is trying to help the cause of “live” Jazz. [I like the phrase “in performance” Jazz better.]
Which brings me to Belage Gourmet Vietnamese-French Cuisine Restaurant in Fullerton, California and its owner, and your host, Dan Nguyen.
Dan is on a mission to enrich the lives of his patrons; to help them "age beautifully" [in Latin, "Belage."]
He does this not only by providing a venue where healthy and appetizing food is available for your tummy but also by bringing aesthetically pleasing sounds into your emotional and spiritual life by presenting Jazz at the restaurant as often as possible.
Did I mention that Belage has a full bar as well?
Given the cabaret roots of Jazz during the earlier “booze and blues” years in its history, the idea of the music being performed in a healthy setting is welcomed along with the idea that the music itself can be a source for good health.
Although there is a tradition of craftsmanship in his family, one based around the principle of learning-by-doing, Dan is not by training or practice, a musician. But his family home was one in which The Arts were highly valued.
Dan has a medical and a management background with a history of getting things done in both environments. He is a doer; an accomplisher. Once he sets his mind on a goal, he finds the ways and means to get it done.
Ethnically and culturally, Dan is French-Vietnamese and his love of Jazz dates back to hearing the Jazz recordings played in his home by a grandfather. This fostered his awareness of improvisational music, and through it, a sense of inner contentment.
Dan quickly discerned that this style of music wasn’t limited to American culture, but could also be found in various forms of instrumental and vocal Vietnamese folk music.
Over time, Dan began to see a synergy between food, artistic pursuits and good health and he created the Belage Gourmet Vietnamese-French Cuisine Restaurant as a place where all of this could come together.
Additionally, Dan is a principal at the Saigon Broadcasting TV Network where themes about food, culture and health are created as television programs to further foster physical, emotional and mental well-being among its viewers in the American-Vietnamese community.
Which leads me to the self-serving point of this post.
The Belage Gourmet Vietnamese-French Cuisine Restaurant is located at 1981 Sunny Crest Dr #100, Fullerton, CA 92835 and its website can be accessed at https://belagegourmet.com/.
It offers Jazz on Thursdays and Saturday nights from 6-9 PM and beginning on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 it will offer a new series of Wednesday Wine Nights with none other than the Ernie Del Fante - Steve Cerra Quartet featuring Edmund Velsaco on tenor sax and Baba Elefante on bass.
Baba will also be playing at Belage on November 24th from 6-9 as part of pianist Ron Kobayashi’s excellent trio which features Steve Dixon on drums. Ron’s trio has been together for 27 years!
Our group will be back on Saturday, December 21, 2019 from 6-9 PM with the same band, except Ian Solomon, a fine young bassist from Chicago will be subbing for Baba.
All of these accomplished Orange County-based Jazz musicians and hopefully many others will also be in attendance on Saturday, February 29th, 2020 for an Orange County Legends of Jazz Concert which Edmund Velasco, Vice President of Local 7 has organized to honor saxophonist, bandleader and educator - Ernie Del Fante.
It’s safe to say that in his many years as a player and teacher, Ernie has touched the lives of most of the Orange County Jazz Community with the gift of his warm personality, knowledge and experience.
The venue for this concert honoring Ernie will be Local 7's Milton Foster Recital Hall 2050 S. Main Street, Santa Ana 92707: PH -  546-8166.
Sponsored by the Musicians Club, the concert will take place from 7:30 - 10:00 pm with all proceeds going to the charitable Musicians Fund.
I’ll post more details and ticket information about the Ernie Del Fante OC Jazz Legends Concert on this page as the time draws closer.
In the meantime, Dan, Ernie and I hope you can come out and join us at the Belage Gourmet for fine food, a glass of your favorite and lots of enjoyable Jazz on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 from 6-9 PM. There’s plenty of free parking adjacent to the restaurant.