OAKLAND -- For its first performance of the new year, Piedmont Avenue's Chapel of the Chimes will welcome renowned jazz vocalist Jamie Davis, whose smooth stylings once led the Count Basie Orchestra.

Davis, a Sacramento-area resident who lived nearly 40 years in the Bay Area, will appear Jan. 19 at the famed Julia Morgan-designed chapel with a quartet consisting of Roger Glenn on sax and vibes, John Groves on piano, Andrew Emer on acoustic bass and Larry Vann on drums.

The intimate venue is a departure for the baritone, who is a master of the big-band sound. But he views it as a return to his roots.

"Before I did big bands, I did quartets," he said. "I started out in a small band and am quite at home in it."

Davis said he is excited to perform in Oakland at a time when there is a diminishing number of places to play jazz in the Bay Area. He said he has been performing a great deal overseas, in Russia, Finland and France, where he said there is still a more widespread appreciation for jazz.

Davis, who has shared the stage with Tony Bennett, Patty Austin and Rosemary Clooney, said his Jan. 19 audience can expect a jazz take on pop songs. But his time-tested repertoire also includes classics from the great American songbook.

Eric Mills, who lives just a couple blocks from the chapel, attends each Jazz at the Chimes show. He said he is glad for Davis' return to the hauntingly serene venue.


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"It's one of the best things we've got in the neighborhood," Mills said. "It's very peaceful there. The acoustics are great. As a performer, you are right in their laps."

He said he also enjoys mingling with the performers after the show or during a break.

A reception with refreshments will follow the show, which is produced by singer Mary D'Orazi, who revived the concert series several years ago. Chapel of the Chimes sponsors the concerts every other month.

General admission tickets are available for cash only on the day of the performance at a cost of $15 or $10 for students and seniors 60 and older. Sales begin at 12:30 p.m., and the doors open at 1:30 p.m.

IF YOU GO
What: Jazz at the Chimes featuring singer Jamie Davis and a quartet
When: 2 p.m. Jan. 19, with reception to follow
Where: Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland
Cost: $15 general, $10 for students and seniors 60 and older; sold at the door for cash only beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Information: Visit www.jazzatthechimes.com, or chimesjazz@gmail.com or 510-654-0123.