Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Save the Dates: January Events in Memphis

Photo: Charles Nardi

January in Memphis means the New Year is here! There are plenty of winter events, live music, and more. Check out these events, put them on your calendar, and share with your friends.

Ongoing Events:

Upcoming Events:

Undercurrent will be meeting at the Memphis Heritage at Howard Hall. They‘ll have food courtesy of LYFE Kitchen, and drinks thanks to Baron’s Man Cave and Pyramid Vodka. RSVP here.

The 32nd Annual International Blues Challenge will be held January 26-30, 2016 in Downtown Memphis in the Beale Street Historic District.

Reimagining our city will speak to the need of continuity in urban planning and maintaining our historical legacy through architecture: How place defines our city and our individual lives. Panelists include Matthew Lister (Gehl Studio), Paul Young (Memphis Housing and Development), Lauren Kennedy (Urban Art Commission) and Eric Robertson (Community LIFT).
Community partners: Memphis Heritage, Rhodes College, City of Memphis Office of Community Affairs and SmartCity. Zandria Robinson of Rhodes College will moderate.

Help support the Johnny Cash Historic Marker and Statue project by attending this Raising Cash fundraiser at Cooper Walker Place. Admission is $5 along with Memphis Made beer for $5 a cup. Fundraiser bricks will also be on sale. All proceeds go toward unveiling a historic marker on May 1st detailing Cash’s first paid performance with the Tennesse Two at the church location (then called Galloway United Methodist Church). Proceeds also go toward an eventual on-site bronze statue of Johnny Cash. The Abbey downstairs where John R. Cash, Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant first performed in 1954 will be open at 7:30 p.m.. Upstairs in the Sanctuary, a Johnny Cash video by local filmmakers Mike McCarthy and Kim Lloyd featuring Cash bass player Marshall Grant and Cash drummer W.S. Holland screens at 8 p.m., along with a personal welcome from co-executive directors of Cooper Walker Place; Sam Garrett and Ken Steorts. Live music from local singer Dan Montgomery opens the show at 8:30pm. followed by headliner John Paul Keith at 9pm. 

Laugh off the cold with Oklahoma duo Ryan Green and Shawna Blake. Stay toasty with belly-achers from Henry Coleman. Also featuring James Powell from Oxford and Will Loden from Corinth. Taking place at the Brass Door Downtown.

Newbys is back! Devil Train will be there Tuesday night as the beer flows and the music goes. Don’t miss what is sure to be a night of long awaited celebration. Learn more about what to expect at Newby’s here.

The Rec Room will be hosting a promotional Smash Brothers Tournament. The twist is that the two finalist can only choose Zelda, Sheik, Link, Ganondorf and Toon Link. Prizes, Discount Codes, and Giveaways! Get tickets here for Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses at the Orpheum.

Check out this interactive seminar featuring a keynote address by Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace followed by an interactive panel discussion. Wine & cheese reception to follow.

Lafayette’s Music Room is known for bringing both local and national acts under their roof on a nightly basis. Now for one night, they are taking their music in another direction. The restaurant and music hall will host their first Club Night, featuring Wick-it the Instigator with GuTTa KicK and purplecatjane. Tables and chairs will be removed downstairs to create a giant dance floor for party-goers, with additional dance space upstairs as well. Lighting will be a center of attention, as Lafayette’s is bringing in more lights than any other previous show since they have opened their doors. Drink specials will be available.

The Church Health Center’s Urban Fusion Dance Workshop is an eclectic, expressive, and energetic class where you’ll learn a hip-hop dance with a feel-good vibe from Jaukeem Balcom. Open to all ages 10 and up. Price is pay what you can.

Assembled brings together fourteen artists who over the course of one month created seven original works on canvas. Curated by Lester Julian Merriweather. Participating artists: Kenneth Wayne Alexander II, Melissa Dunn, Melissa Farris, Bienvenido Howard, Mary Jo Karimnia, Brandon Gaia Marshall, Lawrence Matthews III, Angela D. Myers, Dedar Lorca Nordbye, Drea L. Powell, Michael Roy, Vitus Shell, Kyle Taylor, and Lance Turner. On display Jan 29 – Mar 18.

On every last Friday of the month the galleries and shops are open, there’s music on the street, and more. Trolley rides are free from Beale to G.E. Patterson, so get on board and join the festivities.

Enjoy fine wines from Busters Liquor with delicious cheese pairings from local restaurants. Featuring music by Charvey and food by A Catered Affair, Frost Bake Shop, Pasta Italia, River Oaks Restaurant, Say Cheese Food Truck.

Come out for Soulsville Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year hosted by Vince Carter and the Memphis Grizzlies. Your ticket purchase will help the Soulsville Foundation fulfill its mission to uplift and invigorate the music and heritage of Stax Records to develop young people for lifelong success, and continue to inspire and transform the world through the power of soul music. Dance to live music entertainment provided by Garry Goin Band, Marcella and her Lovers, and a special set from the Stax Music Academy. Enjoy a totally different experience in the Rec Room South where adults can be kids again. Experience a Kendra Scott jewelry pull, mobile bid in the silent auction, indulge in the many open bars and global cuisine, or relax at the coffee & espresso bar. Complimentary valet parking provided for all guests.

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage brings five decades of Star Trek to concert halls for the first time in this galaxy or any other. This lavish production includes an impressive live symphony orchestra and international solo instruments. People of all ages and backgrounds will experience the franchise’s groundbreaking and wildly popular musical achievements while the most iconic Star Trek film and TV footage is simultaneously beamed in high definition to a 40-foot wide screen. The concert will feature some of the greatest music written for the franchise including music from Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager and much more. This never-before-seen concert event is perfect for music lovers, filmgoers, science-fiction fans and anyone looking for an exciting and unique concert experience.

Check out this tribute burlesque show featuring Requiemma, Will Ryder, Lady Doo Moi, and Kitty Wompas, with your host singer/comedian Julie Wheeler, doing their interpretations of Bowie’s genius.

Dope On Arrival is kicking off 2016 in style with a semi-formal, red & black affair. Performing live will be J. Fields, Archangel, Virghost, Jay Daskreet, JDS, & Crisis901, hosted by Jason Da Hater. The artists will be accompanied by a live band headed by Timothy Moore. DJ X will be on the 1’s & 2’s. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

Join Alex da Ponte in celebrating her CD release. She will play some songs from the record and then hang out and sell the CDs.This event is all ages and kids 12 and under don’t have to pay to get in.

See even more ways to enjoy winter in Memphis.


Past Events:

  • Jan 1 – Jan 3 – Go Ice Skating at the Memphis Zoo – $6/person
    • 1/1 Open 9:30am-4:30pm and 5:30pm – 9:30pm for 80’s Night
    • 1/2Open 9:30am-4:30pm and 5:30pm – 9:30pm for Elvis Night
    • 1/3 Open 9:30am-4:30pm (last day)
Be part of the fun at one of Downtown’s signature events as floats, high school and university marching bands perform along historic Beale Street in the Home of the Blues.

Join fans from competing teams for this exciting pep rally and then enjoy a festive time on World Famous Beale Street the night before the game.

Enjoy the color and pageantry of college football as two of the country’s best teams “Battle for the Bell” at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl!

Come out for a night of bingo at Mardi Gras Memphis (496 N. Watkins) to help raise funds for Memphis Pets Alive. Mardi Gras Memphis will have a great menu to order from and a specialty drink available for the occasion. Tickets to play all 10 games will start at $20. Memphis Pets Alive will have T-shirts and pint glasses for sale as well.

For the first Shoot & Splice event of 2016, join panelists Noah Glenn, Mark Hackett and Andrea Morales to discuss, debate and analyze the use of documentary film to convey organizational messages, video journalism, the difference between the two and how to effectively and ethically craft both.

Enjoy a night of comedy with Chad Riden, Mary Jay Berger, Henry Coleman, LaToya Polk, Jared Herring, and Josh McLane at the Hi-Tone.

Enjoy local music at Murphy’s for just $5.

Elvis’ 80th birthday bash will take place from January 7th – 10th, all to honor the king of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Celebrations will kick off with The Auction at Graceland featuring items authenticated by Graceland Authenticated and offered from third-party collectors on January 7 at 7 pm with both on site and online participation available. The birthday party will culminate on January 8 with the Proclamation Ceremony and cake cutting at 9:30 am. See the full list of activities and get tickets here.

Memphis native Jennifer Balink is a writer, photographer, blogger and community engagement specialist. Her latest series, “The Blues,” which will be shown at Eclectic Eye, are Memphis vignettes printed in cyanotype, a photographic process that dates back to 1842. All images were taken using the Hipstamatic app for iPhones and digitally converted to negatives, then enlarged for contact printing on archival cotton paper. Jennifer’s art will be on display and available for purchase from January 8, 2016 until February 24, 2016.

Are you interested in taking a class at the Museum, but not sure where to begin? Here’s your chance to “test the waters.” A Day of Tasters is a series of introductory classes in blacksmithing, welding, casting and copper soldering so you can find what’s right for you. These mini workshops are for beginners and limited to 4 people per session.

See local band Star & Micey play at Minglewood Hall with friends the Black Cadillacs.

It’s a competition but it’s also an opportunity to share five minutes of you with a room full of kind folks who appreciate stories. If you want to tell your five minute story, you’ll drop your name in the bucket. They’ll draw up to ten names and each person has five minutes to tell their story. Three judges score the stories on a scale of 1-10 based on content and presentation. No props or notes are allowed. After basking in triumphant glory, the winner is invited to compete in the Story Grand Slam November 19, 2016 for the title of Grand Master Storyteller of Memphis.

This is a fantastic and spooky tour of the landmark Victorian Village Mansion which was completed in 1871. Enjoy a unique tour of the dimly lit home with special emphasis on the family members who lived and died in the mansion. The stunning architecture and priceless collection of furniture, artwork and textiles set the mood for this special tour. Your guide will be an experienced paranormal investigator and they will share the experiences, stories and evidence which has led many visitors to believe that there are still folks at home here in 680 Adams Ave. Your tour guide will have investigation equipment for you to use. The tour is about 2 hours long and starts promptly at 7:30PM.

All hobbits, Elves, and Memphians are invited to play “Lord of the Rings” Trivia with Kevin Cerrito at the Rec Room. Every round of trivia on this night will feature questions themed to the “Lord of the Rings” movies, books, etc. Reservations are required by going here. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd & Best Team Name.

For the first time ever in Memphis, play “Arrested Development” Trivia with Kevin Cerrito at Tamp & Tap. On this special night of trivia, all 6 rounds will be questions themed to the TV show “Arrrested Develpment.” Reservations are required by going here. Win prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd & Best Team Name.

  • Friday, Jan 15 – The Science of Beer 2016 – 6:30pm – $35/non-members, $30/members, $15/designated drivers, $55/VIP non-members, $50/VIP members 

Taste beer from local professional and home brewers. Learn about the science behind favorite brews through activities, mini-lectures, and talking with expert brewers. Enjoy food from various local vendors.

Former and future Memphis Redbirds will discuss the past and upcoming seasons and sign autographs during the annual St. Louis Cardinals Caravan at Autozone Park. Redbirds in attendance will include 2015 Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year Stephen Piscotty and 2015 National League All-Star Michael Wacha. Cardinals alumni Stubby Clapp, Bo Hart, and Jason Simontacchi will join the Caravan as well, in addition to top prospects Patrick Wisdom and Carson Kelly. Emcee of the evening will be Tom Ackerman. Admission to the caravan is free and seating is first-come, first-served. The first 400 children to arrive will get a free autograph ticket. The autograph ticket system will guarantee one autograph from each current and former player per ticket. Because of demand, autograph tickets will only be available for children 15 years or younger.

  • Friday, Jan 15 – Tool Box Bash – 7pm – $60/person, $650/table

You can enjoy music, food, and drinks during Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ 14th annual Tool Box Bash at the Memphis Botanic Garden. Live and silent auctions will give you the opportunity to purchase exciting items while contributing to Memphis Habitat’s cause. Entertainment from G3: The Gary Goin Group will give guests fresh R&B, while enjoying food from Heart & Soul Catering, desserts from The Creamery Memphis, and drinks from The Stellar Cellar. Auction items include trips to St. Louis and Nashville, a live painting by Adam Exelbierd, tickets to Disney World, a distillery tour and tasting from Pyramid Vodka, and more.

Enjoy a night of comedy with Troy Gittings, Ross Turner, Laura Weiderhaft, Bryce Damuth, Jane Haze, and Ray-De-Oh.

Join Shelby County Historian and tour guide extraordinaire Jimmy Ogle on a walking and talking tour of the Mid-South Fairgrounds. Jimmy will speak on the natural, cultural, architectural and entertainment history of the Mid-South Fairgrounds and also about its present and future. Meet at the west entrance to the Coliseum. The tour will begin and end at the Coliseum. Don’t forget to dress warmly. The tour is presented by the Coliseum Coalition, Friends of the Fairgrounds, the Orange Mound Parade and Action Committee, and Livable Memphis.

Honor Martin Luther King Jr at one of these events.

This is a free family-friendly, non-smoking, intimate show with Louisiana music goddess Marcella Simien, accompanied by local sax wizard Jim Spake. Fresh food, locally hand-crafted beers, great sounds, scenery, and art by regional artists.

Join the Flyer at the Rec Room to celebrate the unveiling of this year’s 20<30 honorees. The annual “20 Under 30” issue recognizes twenty young Memphians who are shaping the future of the city with their ideas and actions. Mix and mingle with the 20<30 honorees, enjoy drinks, food, giveaways, classic Memphis tunes, and of course, games.

Come and give your input on the transportation needs of Memphis & the Memphis area. They will have a mix of activities (brief presentation, discussions in small breakout groups, summary in front of all attendees, and a paper survey for all to fill out). Your input will go straight to the Memphis Mayor and City Council, and also to the Memphis MPO (Metropolitan Planning Org).

This event is free and public to all ages, and all levels of play. Event is hosted by Tehani and Tim of Bootleg Ukulele. The Trolley Stop will be serving their complete menu, so come on out thirsty and hungry.

Get your roll on! Learn how to make California Roll, Tuna Roll and a Shrimp Burrito. Everything you make, you eat. Appetizers and drinks included. Register at Whole Foods Germantown Customer Service or by calling 901-896-3245 .

The Rec Room will be hosting a night of Rockband Karoake.  There will be a sign up sheet at 7pm, Music starts at 8pm. Suggested band size: 3-4 members. They provide the game and sound, and you provide the groove. This is the first event that will happen every third Thursday of the month. Beginners welcome, veterans encouraged. 18+

It’s a new year in Memphis. New mayor. New administration. New rules. What role can tolerance play, as we seek to build a just city?  Come to class with Just City and learn. Performances by: Marco Pavé, Kerry Hayes, Eric Gottlieb. Music by: Victor Sawyer, Tim Prudhomme, Tom Lonardo, Tim Goodwin.

Penny and Sparrow bring their haunting sound to The Halloran Centre for a one-night engagement to benefit Grizzlies Prep.

Chris Patrick, Terence Clark, & Ryan Peel are some of Memphis’s best local drummers and they are playing for one night only at Visible Music College Downtown, for a FREE drummer’s clinic.

Celebrate the launch of the first Izakaya (Japanese bar food) in Memphis! Ticket includes sake, beer and food tasting. Tickets are available at SEKISUI, Robata, SPR, and online.

Join the MGLCC for another great OUTLoud Comedy Showcase. Comedians for the January 22nd show include: Ozzy Jackson, Brandon Sams, Tommy Oler, Lila Bear, and Jay Jackson. The open mic will start at 9:00pm and the show will start at 9:30, so the open mic spots are limited.

Mulan will be staying open late to Host Karaoke with DJ Mix Jagger! There will be a special Late Night Menu & extended happy hour from 12am-2am. Tons of songs to choose from.

The Memphis Rollin’ Grizzlies are gearing up to host their annual home tournament. It’s free for all to attend, but donations are gladly accepted. The Rollin’ Grizzlies are thrilled to partner with the Memphis Grizzlies, and Memphis Athletic Ministries for the tournament hosted at its Grizzlies Center, 2107 Ball Rd. Memphis, TN 38114. You can enjoy lunch for just $5 from One and Only BBQ, along with a variety of concessions. Go here for the full schedule.

Celebrate the new year with authentic Japanese food and sake, a tea ceremony performance, and their lovely Maid Cafe dance performance. Admission is free for MBG/JAST members and students (any school) with ID. You can buy $10 or $20 food tickets at the front desk. The $20 ticket is for those with big appetites.

It’s going down on Saturday, January 23rd at 2:00 pm. If you love pinball, then you need to be present at Garibaldi’s Pizza at 3530 Walker Ave for an epic Winter Blues Pinball Tournament hosted by Memphis Pinball. As of now, the lineup includes WWF Royal Rumble, Viper Night Driving, Sharkey’s Shootout, Delta Queen, Aladdin’s Castle and Wizard.

This all-ages show brings together 17 local musicians who will cover various David Bowie songs as a tribute. 100% of the proceeds will be going to St Jude. Posters will be available for sale as well.

Celebrate 34 years of struggle in Memphis at the MSPJC Anniversary Gala at First Congo Church. Two excellent speakers will be at the event this year, one local and one national to speak to some of the most pressing concerns to our community. Cocktails will be served at 5:30pm, dinner will be served at 6pm, and the program will begin at 7pm. There will also be a “pay what you can” rate for those who only want to see the program and not have dinner at a suggested rate of $10. No one will be turned away for financial reasons.

Choose901 and 3 Shades of Blue are joining together again for another round of watch parties where you can enter raffles for the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation, have a chance to get some great giveaways, and enjoy food and drink specials at each party.

The Outflix Film Festival is planning exciting events for 2016. Come join them at The Pumping Station for their kickoff event as they share all of the plans.

Tennessee Equality Project’s sixth annual Mardi Gras celebration and Gumbo Contest will feature competitive tasting of gumbo from 16 teams, Tennessee craft beer, New Orleans jazz from the Hot Memphis 4, awards for best gumbo and local Champions of Equality at the Bridges Center in Downtown Memphis.

Come out for an amazing meal in support of an amazing organization. Chef Brown Burch has collaborated with the Jeff Johnson Restaurant Group to bring a modern edge to classic Latin offerings. His 5 course menu will feature fresh, seasonal items sourced and made locally. Wine Pairing available for purchase on location the night of the event. Proceeds and donations will go to Best Buddies of Tennessee. Tax and Gratuity are included in the ticket price. Get tickets here.


See an event we missed? Let us know in the comments!

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