UPCOMING PROJECTS

FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2017 | 7:30PM

The Saga of the Cross

The Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place   |   New York, NY 10030

Jazz pianist/Howard University professor, Cyrus Chestnut, will perform a powerful composition that he especially wrote for The Abyssinian Baptist Church, entitled “The Saga of the Cross.” This exciting celebration of Good Friday will feature a jazz trio, The Abyssinian Baptist Church choir and will be narrated by Tavis Smiley.  Concert proceeds will benefit the AbyWest campaign for the church’s construction of a new Education and Cultural Center.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries and Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the conductor for “The Saga of the Cross”

 

PURCHASE TICKETS

JUNE 9-11, 2017

Music Workshop of Gospel & Spirituals

Bad Homburg, Germany

James Davis Jr. returns to Germany to explore the evolution of the American negro spiritual song genre and its indelible contribution to contemporary worship and spirituality. The workshop will take the form of a demonstration lecture and clinic, with a culminating concert with workshop participants.

July 21-23, 2017

Let the Good Times Roll

Charleston Music Hall | 37 John St | Charleston, SC 29403

All new for 2017! Producers Brad and Jennifer Moranz have created an entirely new show featuring the best of rock, pop and country! Show runs July 21-23 at the Charleston Music Hall.

James Davis Jr. serves as Music Director of Let the Good Times Roll.

PURCHASE TICKETS

 

PAST PROJECTS

 

SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 2017 | 3:00PM

The Dandy Lion Roars

University of Miami’s Lowe Art Museum   |   1301 Stanford Drive    |   Miami, FL 33146

IlluminArts, Miami’s Art Song and Vocal Chamber Music series, is proud to present an afternoon of songs celebrating the politically and socially illuminating photography exhibition, Dandy Lion: {Re} Articulating Black Masculine Identity. This performance will showcase classical art song and spirituals by African American composers and poets and features acclaimed baritones Kenneth Overton and Jorell Williams, accompanied by renowned pianist James Davis Jr., director of music at The Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2017 | 4:00PM

9th Annual Black History Month Celebration

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church   |   521 West 126th Street  |   New York, NY 10027

The Harlem Chamber Players’ 9th Annual Black History Month Celebration will feature baritone Steven Kirby and pianist James Davis Jr. as well as members of The Harlem Chamber Players in music by George Walker, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds and spirituals.

James Davis Jr. serves on the board of the Harlem Chamber Players.

 

DECEMBER 8 – 23, 2016

The Charleston Christmas Special

Charleston Music Hall | 37 John St | Charleston, SC 29403

All new for 2016! Producers Brad and Jennifer Moranz have created an entirely new show of musical performances and comedy sketches — all with a holiday theme. Running Dec. 8-23 at the Charleston Music Hall, The Charleston Christmas Special is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

James Davis Jr. serves as Music Director of The Charleston Christmas Special.

 

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2016 | 7:00PM

Annual Bach Concert

Broadway Presbyterian Church  |  601 West 114th Street | New York, NY 10025

The Harlem Bach Project continues with an evening featuring conductor James Davis, Jr., mezzo-soprano Lucia Bradford, pianist Eric Malson, violinist Belinda Whitney, oboist Gerard Reuter, and members of The Harlem Chamber Players in a concert featuring some of the most beautiful concertos and arias by Bach.

James Davis Jr. serves on the board of the Harlem Chamber Players.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016 | 4PM

I, Too Sing America: An Artistic Tribute to the Victims of Police Brutality

The Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place  |   New York, NY 10030

I, Too Sing America features Janinah Burnett, Soprano with the Metropolitan Opera; Kenneth Overton, Baritone; James Davis Jr., Minister of Music & Fine Arts at The Abyssinian Baptist Church and Rashad Moore, Associate Minister also from The Abyssinian Baptist Church.  This collaboration of spirituals, art songs, freedom songs and spoken word is meant to pay homage to those who have fallen due to the numerous acts of police brutality which have taken place in New York City and countless other cities around the U.S.

Hear an excerpt: Someday We’ll All Be Free

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2016

American Choral Directors Association, Connecticut Chapter

Manchester High School | 134 Middle Turnpike E | Manchester, CT 06040

The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, under the direction of James Davis Jr. will be a featured choir for the Connecticut ACDA’s Fall conference.  James will also facilitate an interest session on the Negro spiritual, and an excerpt from an interview preceding the session can be found below

JDJ INTERVIEW

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2016 | 7:30PM

Listen to the Lambs

Woosley Hall | Yale University | 500 College Street | New Haven, CT 06511

The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir, under the direction of James Davis Jr. will present a full concert of music from the African American worship experience.

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE 10 – 13, 2016

Music Workshop of Gospel & Spirituals

Frankfurt, Germany

This special workshop/lecture is presented by JDJ Music and led by James Davis, Jr. The workshop will explore the evolution of the American negro spiritual song genre and its indelible contribution to contemporary worship and spirituality. The workshop will take the form of a demonstration lecture and clinic, with a culminating concert with workshop participants.

 

 

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016 | 4:00PM

8th Annual Black History Month Celebration

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church   |   521 West 126th Street  |   New York, NY 10027

The Harlem Chamber Players 8th Annual Black History Month Celebration will feature soprano Janinah Burnett and pianist James Davis Jr. as well as members of The Harlem Chamber Players in music by Chevalier de St. George, John Carter and Nkeiru Okoye.

James Davis Jr. serves on the board of the Harlem Chamber Players.

 

 

 

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2016 | 5PM

I, Too Sing America: An Artistic Tribute to the Victims of Police Brutality

Middle Collegiate Church   |   112 2nd Avenue   |   New York, NY 10003

I, Too Sing America features Janinah Burnett, Soprano with the Metropolitan Opera; Kenneth Overton, Baritone; James Davis Jr., Minister of Music & Fine Arts at The Abyssinian Baptist Church and Rashad Moore, Associate Minister also from The Abyssinian Baptist Church.  This collaboration of spirituals, art songs, freedom songs and spoken word is meant to pay homage to those who have fallen due to the numerous acts of police brutality which have taken place in New York City, NY., Ferguson, MO., and countless other cities around the U.S.

Hear an excerpt: Someday We’ll All Be Free

>>

 

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015 | 7:30PM

Messiah Sing In

David Geffen Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | New York, NY 10023

The National Chorale hosts it’s annual Messiah Sing In at Avery Fisher Hall.  James Davis Jr. is one of the 17 distinguished conductors who will take turns conducting the 3,000 voice audience-chorus in Handel’s masterpiece.  For more information, please visit nationalchorale.com

James Davis Jr. serves on the National Chorale Board.

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015 | 7:00PM

An Evening of Bach

Broadway Presbyterian Church   |   601 West 114th Street  |   New York, NY 10025

The Harlem Bach Project continues with an evening featuring the two-time Grammy nominated pianist Terrence Wilson, with conductor James Davis, Jr., Mezzo-Soprano Lucia Bradford, and members of The Harlem Chamber Players in a concert featuring some of the most beautiful concertos and arias by Bach.

James Davis Jr. serves on the board of the Harlem Chamber Players.

 

 

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015 | 9:30AM

Music Workshop

Rye Country Day School   |   3 Cedar Street  |   Rye, NY 10580

JDJ Music in conjunction with The Total Praise Ensemble of The Abyssinian Baptist Church will present a multi-genre concert and workshop to the lower, middle and upper schools of Rye Country Day School.  The concerts will incorporate spirituals and gospel and include an age appropriate participatory (call and response) component and educational component speaking to the history of the spiritual and historical connection to the Underground Railroad.  The culminating workshop, led by James Davis Jr. will feature the Rye Country Day School choir.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church.

 

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 7, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Carl Allen with Cyrus Chestnut

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

With over 200 recordings to his credit, the gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolation has provided soulful and syncopated support for nearly three decades.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

Watch a clip of Carl Allen: Zildjian Performance

>>>

 

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2015 | 4PM

I, Too Sing America: An Artistic Tribute to the Victims of Police Brutality

Fordham United Methodist Church   |   2543 Marion Avenue   |   Bronx, NY 10458

I, Too Sing America features Janinah Burnett, Soprano with the Metropolitan Opera; Kenneth Overton, Baritone; James Davis Jr., Minister of Music & Fine Arts at The Abyssinian Baptist Church and Rashad Moore, Associate Minister also from The Abyssinian Baptist Church.  This collaboration of spirituals, art songs, freedom songs and spoken word is meant to pay homage to those who have fallen due to the numerous acts of police brutality which have taken place in New York City, NY., Ferguson, MO., and countless other cities around the U.S.

Hear an excerpt: Someday We’ll All Be Free

>>

SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Nnenna Freelon

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

Six-time GRAMMY® Award nominee Nnenna Freelon has earned a well-deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. In 2014, Nnenna starred in the critically acclaimed show “Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. Nnenna is no stranger to the music of the master singer – she toured with Ray Charles, as well as many other greatest jazz artists including Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, George Benson, and others.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 | 7PM

Migration Rhapsody: An Aleatoric Exploration of the Journey North through Music, Poetry, and Personal Narrative

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)   |   11 W 53rd St   |   New York, NY 10019

James Davis Jr. performs in a multi-media concert of music and spoken word titled: “Migration Rhapsody: An Aleatoric Exploration of the Journey North through Music, Poetry, and Personal Narrative” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), in conjunction with the Jacob Lawrence “MIGRATION SERIES.” The SOLD OUT concert is directed and produced by Terrance McKnight and written by McKnight and Karen Chilton. The concert also features Chilton (narrator), Damien Sneed (piano), Nick Finzer (trombone), Ernesto Gomez (harmonica); Ricky Gordon (percussion); Alicia Hall Moran (vocals), Randall Haywood (trumpet), Bill T. Jones (narrator); Joseph Joubert (piano), Kevin Maynor (vocals), Jason Moran (piano), Nicole Phifer (vocals), Bill Sims, Jr. (guitars), Chaney Sims (vocals), Bob Stewart (tuba); Curtis Stewart (violin); Tuffus Zimbabwe (piano) and The Levites featuring Quinn Brown, Chenee Campbell, Lynette Rhett McNeil, Tiffany Stevenson and Matia Washington.

Watch the performace: Migration Rhapsody

SUNDAY, APRIL 12, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring The Baylor Project

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

A husband. A wife. An astonishing duo: “The Baylor Project.” Marcus and Jean Baylor’s highly anticipated collaboration is deeply rooted in the heart and soul of Jazz. They each have recorded and performed with artists of the highest caliber including Yellowjackets, Kenny Garrett, Buster Williams, Cassandra Wilson and many others.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Kersten Stevens & Camille Thurman

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

Emerging from an accomplished classical foundation, Kersten Stevens has fostered a unique improvisational freedom that wows music enthusiasts. A catalyst for playing “outside” through risky music design, her performances are stimulating, high-energy, and inventive. Astonishing audiences with meticulous dexterity and beauty of expression, she creates an engaging interactive experience that leaves listeners wanting more.

Camille Thurman, multi-talented saxophonist, flutist, vocalist, composer and educator is a young musician emerging on the horizon, acquiring an impressive list of accomplishments that extend well beyond her years. Her lush, velvety, rich & warm sound on the tenor saxophone makes others to compare her sound to the likeness of tenor greats Gene Ammons and Dexter Gordon to name a few.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Nicole Henry

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

Since her debut in 2004, Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists. Ms.Henry possesses at potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. Her repertoire includes the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz titles, contemporary’ standards, blues , and originals; while her accompaniment ranges from a simple jazz trio to a full big band.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring The Monty Alexander Trio

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with a myriad of artists including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakesepare, and others.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2014 | 7PM

Messiah Sing In

Avery Fisher Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | New York, NY 10023

The National Chorale hosts it’s annual Messiah Sing In at Avery Fisher Hall.  James Davis Jr. is one of the 17 distinguished conductors who will take turns conducting the 3,000 voice audience-chorus in Handel’s masterpiece.  For more information, please visit nationalchorale.com

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2014 | 7PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Imani Winds

Abyssinian Baptist Church   |   132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)   |   New York, NY 10030

More than North America’s premier wind quintet, Imani Winds has established itself as one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. Since 1997, the Grammy nominated quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, adventurous collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014 | 9AM & 11AM

Handel’s Messiah at Abyssinian

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.) | New York, NY 10030

Handel’s Messiah at Abyssinian has become one of Harlem’s premiere holiday events/concerts. James Davis Jr. leads Abyssinian’s Cathedral Choir in part 1 of Handel’s great masterpiece. Admission is free & open to the public.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2014 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Brandee Younger and Ravi Coltrane

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.)  |  New York, NY 10030

A versatile artist who has been proven to defy genres and labels, young harpist Brandee Younger has created a unique niche in both traditional and non-traditional harp arenas. In addition to expressively interpreting traditional harp repertoire, Ms. Younger is most recognized for working with jazz royalty as well as Grammy winning hip-hop producers and artists

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2014 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Stefon Harris

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.) | New York, NY 10030

Vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as “one of the most important young artists in jazz” (The Los Angeles Times).  A three time Grammy nominee, six-time Best Mallet player by the Jazz Journalist Association and recipient of Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award, Harris earned a BM in Classical Music and an MM in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

OCTOBER 17 – 19, 2014

Music Workshop of Gospel & Spirituals

Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Groß-Rohrheim | Erfelden, Germany

This special workshop/lecture is presented by JDJ Music and led by James Davis, Jr. The workshop will explore the evolution of the American negro spiritual song genre and its indelible contribution to contemporary worship and spirituality. The workshop will take the form of a demonstration lecture and clinic, with a culminating concert with workshop participants.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2014 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Jazzmeia Horn & Brian Owens

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.) | New York, NY 10030

At the young and brittle age of 23, Jazzmeia “Jazz” Horn hailing from the great Dallas, Texas has already earned a reputation in New York City as a dynamic musician.

Over the past 6 months, Brian Owens has debuted at the Apollo Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center and toured internationally making his inaugural trip to Japan with sold out shows at the Tokyo and Nagoya Blue Note Jazz Clubs.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Bill Saxton & the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers All Stars

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.) | New York, NY 10030

Bill Saxton was born in Harlem and attended NYC public schools.  After graduating from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with a degree in Jazz Music, he went on to appear with and or record with jazz giants, such as Roy Haynes, Jackie McLean, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, The Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster, Carmen McRae, Mongo Santa Maria, Roy Ayers, Barry Harris, Tito Puente, Charles Tolliver, and others.   Bill Saxton lives his African American heritage and represents Harlem at its best. He is Jazz.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.

AUGUST 1 – 2, 2014

Lagos Jazz Festival

Victoria Island  |  Lagos, Nigeria

The most highly anticipated jazz event in West Africa, Grammy award winning drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. leads a band of some of today’s top jazz musicians, including vocalist Alicia Olatuja, pianist  Xavier Davis, trumpeter Bruce Harris, tenor saxophonist Ron Blake, and bassist Corcoran Holt.

James Davis Jr. served as the Artistic Director/Curator of the Lagos Jazz Series.

MARCH 25 – JUNE 8, 2014

Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Arena Stage

Arena Stage | 1101 Sixth Street, SW | Washington, DC  20024  

Let Broadway director Randy Johnson, (One Night with Janis Joplin), transport you to the golden age of Rock, Rhythm and Blues with the hits of Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame legends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Featuring Tony winner Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet), E. Faye Butler and Nova Y. PaytonSmokey Joe’s Café is packed with memorable tunes like “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock” and “Stand By Me”  It’s no wonder this electrifying show garnered seven Tony nominations and became the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history!

James Davis Jr. serves as Associate Music Director of Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

SUNDAY, JUNE 1, 2014 | 4PM

Abyssinian Jazz Vespers featuring Steve Kroon Latin Jazz Sextet

Abyssinian Baptist Church | 132 Odell Clark Place (formerly 138th St.) | New York, NY 10030

The Steven Kroon Latin Jazz Sextet is an ultra-tight ensemble that delivers melodic, rhythmically adventurous Afro-Cuban and Brazilian-inflected jazz of the highest order.

James Davis Jr. serves as the Director of Music Ministries & Fine Arts at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church and the curator of the Abyssinian Jazz Vespers.