NYC events in January 2019

Make the new year great by attending the best NYC events in January 2019 from concerts to new exhibitions
Photograph: Shutterstock
By Time Out editors, compiled by Tazi Phillips |
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Start the new year on the right foot by using our list of NYC events in January 2019 to plan your month. We’ve included the best NYC concerts in January as well as can’t-miss happenings as popular New York attractions. From taking a chilly dip in the ocean at the Polar Bear Club New Year’s Day Swim on Coney Island to ways you can celebrate Martin Luther King Day, check out these events and more sensational things to do in the winter.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2019

Featured events in January 2019

Things to do

New Year’s Day in New York

There is plenty to do in NYC on New Year’s Day, so shake off your hangover and get ready to start off 2019 with a bang. Strip down to your skivvies and take part in the annual New Year’s Day Swim at Coney Island, indulge in verse and good food at the annual New Year’s Day Marathon Reading and more.

Adam O'Farrill
Photograph: Courtesy Gilbert Ludwig
Music

Winter Jazzfest

Each January, Winter Jazzfest hosts a stellar lineup over five nights. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. The shows aren’t individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night’s shows—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity, that is.

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Things to do, Festivals

No Pants Subway Ride

In January 2002, Improv Everywhere’s Charlie Todd produced the first-ever No Pants Subway Ride and posted the event on YouTube, where the short clip quickly gained popularity. Now it has turned into one of the group's most anticipated events, as thousands of New Yorkers continue the funny tradition on subway cars all across Gotham. Donning winter clothes, minus their pants, the straphangers share the same goal: to confuse bystanders.

Martin Luther King Day Tribute at BAM
Photograph: Elena Olivo
Things to do

Martin Luther King Day in NYC

Since it was first observed nationwide in January of 1986, the holiday commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has served as a reminder of his legacy to the causes of civil rights, nonviolent opposition and community service.

Music events in January 2019

RJD2
Photograph: Benny Mistak
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

RJD2

The turntable whiz hits Brooklyn Bowl to ring in 2018 with his dense, party-fueling beats. He was last heard on the 2016 soulful sixth album, Dame Fortune, in which the "Mad Men" theme producer lays out his ominous hip-hop production behind contributions from artists including R&B guitarist Son Little and spitfire North Carolina rapper Phonte.

Moor Mother
Photograph: Courtesy Bob Sweeney
Music, Rock and indie

Moor Mother + Dreamcrusher

As Moor Mother, Philly artist Camae Defstar makes music that bespeaks a punk ethos—sonic chaos and a revolutionary spirit—but relies on noise instrumentation: field recordings, analog sequencers and distorted drum machine collaged into witchy lo-fi "dark rap." Here she pairs with anarchic local noise-maker Dreamcrusher and a special guest.

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Aurora Halal
© Aurora Halal
Clubs, House, disco and techno

Aurora Halal

Halal is a creative overachiever in music, video and event production and anything and everything in between. Devoted to New York's underground scene, she is the creator of the party series Mutual Dreaming and stages the annual weekend festival Sustain-Release. Catch her darkly hued, hallucinatory techno at this eight-hour set.

Eyehategod
Photograph: Dean Karr
Music, Punk and metal

Eyehategod

Few sounds in rock are more loaded with promise than the shrill feedback drone that precedes this band's every gig. The New Orleans sludge-metal group started three decades ago as a bad joke and slowly evolved into an institution, amassing a global following and even turning up on Treme. Here, the masterful riff wranglers, soldiering on after vocalist Mike IX Williams's recent liver transplant and the death of longtime drummer Joey LaCaze, turn up in support of their fine 2014 self-titled comeback LP.

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San Fermin
Photograph: Courtesy Denny Renshaw
Music

San Fermin

Brooklyn composer-songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone's San Fermin touches down to deliver sweet, brass-fangled baroque folk—like Dirty Projectors jamming with DeVotchKa. Prepare yourself for an circuitious journey through Leone's nimble, expansive story-telling, chock-full of grand epiphanies and subtle truths.

OSHUN
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

OSHUN

The Brooklyn group, which combines neosoul, hip-hop and pop into an intoxicating mix centered on its two talented vocalists, previews its debut album at this gig.

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Craig Taborn
Photograph: John Rogers/ECM Records
Music, Jazz

Winter Jazzfest Marathon

Each January, Winter Jazzfest offers a crash course for anyone interest in exploring NYC's jazz scene. Its signature two-night Greenwich Village marathon brings vets and up-and-comers, hordes of music fans and a palpable air of excitement to an array of cozy downtown venues. The shows aren't individually ticketed, so a wristband grants you access to any of each night's shows—as long as a given club doesn’t hit capacity, that is.

Drugdealer
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rock and indie

Drugdealer

On his project’s debut album, The End of Comedy, musician Michael Collins creates mind-bending, lysergic pop with contributions from Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, the latter of which joins him at this show.

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Mariachi Flor de Toloache perform at the Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island.
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Latin and world

globalFEST

This annual international-music showcase takes over three stages with represented genres including Indian hip-hop, Iranian folk, Mexican mariachi and Brazilian Tropicália.

Max Bemis of Say Anything
Photograph: Neil Visel
Music, Rock and indie

Say Anything

For more than a decade, frontman-songwriter Max Bemis has transformed his neurotic woes and exceedingly dirty thoughts into an ongoing alt-rock opera that's brash, barbed and frequently hilarious. Tonight you'll get the best of both worlds, as Bemis presents SA tunes new (heard on its latest LP, I Don't Think It Is) and old.

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See more NYC concerts in January

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