Harlem Music activities

Our most recommended Harlem Music activities

Harlem: History and Gospel Bus Tour

1. Harlem: History and Gospel Bus Tour

Fill your heart with joy on an incredible tour of Harlem and discover New York City's most exciting neighborhood. Learn about its origins as a rural Dutch farming community to its transformation into a summer retreat for the city's most prominent families.  Get an insight into how urban black culture developed following the Great Migration of the early 20th century by African Americans from the southern states. Hear how artists and writers flocked to the area to create the rich cultural landscape of the Harlem Renaissance.  See iconic sights, such as the Apollo Theatre, the legendary Cotton Club, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Duke Ellington's former apartment. Visit some of Manhattan's oldest homes such as the Morris-Jumel Mansion.  Part of this tour is listening to a gospel choir singing at a church service or practicing by themselves. Listen to their beautiful singing and be inspired by their powerful songs of praise.

Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

2. Harlem Gospel Holiday Celebration Concert

Add another dimension to your holiday visit to New York and take in an authentic gospel concert in Harlem. Enjoy an unforgettable hour of Black gospel music on December 24th and Christmas Day (December 25th)! This compelling music is sure to have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet, along with all the others in attendance. You may even end up singing along to the soulful rhythms of Black gospel music that will fill the church on these 2 days. The Holiday Gospel Concert will bring joy to your heart and soul. Gospel music is powerfully uplifting and something that everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

New York City: Mount Morris Harlem Gospel Tour with Brunch

3. New York City: Mount Morris Harlem Gospel Tour with Brunch

Travel to uptown New York for a glorious brunch tour, and experience the uplifting sounds of live gospel music in one of Harlem's more prominent houses of worship. The 4-hour walking tour leads you through the Mount Morris Historic District, where the abundant churches are rich in history, and where the Founding Fathers made their homes. Some of the best-known musicians and entertainers started their journey here. The Sunday morning tour introduces you to the sights and sounds of Harlem at its best, with the soulful sounds of Black Gospel Music. Celebrate with world-famous congregational choirs whose renowned songs will have you jumping in your seat. Feel the spiritual energy flowing through you, and top off your day with the area's best-kept secret - fine dining at affordable prices. Let Harlem's culinary masters tempt you with their authentic ethnic delights at one of the best brunch establishments in the city.

Harlem Jazz Series Concert Ticket

4. Harlem Jazz Series Concert Ticket

Listen as the Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church in Harlem plays host to some of today's most talented jazz musicians while paying tribute to history's greatest jazz music. Experience the cool vibrations of jazz as they soothe and invigorate by seemingly magical strings and horns. This 45-minute concert is an event for all of the senses, and it is meant to be both mentally and spiritually uplifting. The series is artistically directed and hosted by Craig Harris. When Harris exploded onto the jazz scene in 1976, he brought the entire history of the jazz trombone with him. He has performed with the top progressive jazz figures and his own projects have brought him far beyond the confines of the jazz world into the sphere of multimedia and performance art as composer, performer, conceptualist, curator and artistic director.

New York City: Harlem Jazz Crawl Tour

5. New York City: Harlem Jazz Crawl Tour

Delve into the Harlem Jazz world on an unforgettable tour through one of New York's most fascinating neighborhoods. Go sightseeing in Harlem's historic jazz district, and learn the history of the area as you move from one club to the next. Meet in a conveniently located Harlem location near the subway line. Visit two neighborhood joints to indulge in great music so you can understand a variety of styles and atmospheres that exist in Harlem today. Want to have dinner or sample local cuisine? No problem, dinner or appetizers can be arranged at the first club you visit. Drinks are available for purchase at each venue. The best has been saved for last: if you're a musician or singer, you can actually perform at one of the clubs you visit! There's nothing more exciting for the group than to have a talented member of the audience get up on stage and jam with the band.

New York City: Walk This Way Harlem Hip Hop Walking Tour

6. New York City: Walk This Way Harlem Hip Hop Walking Tour

Take advantage of a great opportunity to walk through the beautiful streets of Harlem guided by a hip hop historian. Take a guided tour through the Mecca of Black Culture and get a chance to stop by many of the city's most remarkable sites. See the Apollo Theater, the legendary 125th Street, and many other influential political and cultural sites the Empire State has to offer. Not only will you walk around, but the Museum of the City of New York is a must-see and your pass is good all day. If you're ready to be out and about in the heart of New York City, then Walk This Way for a knowledgeable experience guaranteed!

NYC: Contrasts & Color Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn, & Queens

7. NYC: Contrasts & Color Bus Tour of Bronx, Brooklyn, & Queens

Experience New York City beyond Manhattan on this contrasts and color themed bus tour that visits Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. Learn about the art, history, and culture of the city alongside a NYC expert guide. Start your tour in the heart of Manhattan near Times Square. Meet your guide and board the tour bus to the historic Harlem neighborhood, famous for its African American roots, food, and more. After a stop at the Apollo Theater Walk of Fame, continue to the Bronx, birthplace of hip hop and rap. See Yankees Stadium and learn about baseball in the city. Head off to see graffiti murals unique to this borough. Next, visit Queens, the largest borough and home to NYC’s largest Chinatown. Stop to see Flushing Meadows Corona Park, originally developed to host the 1939 World’s Fair and then the 1946 World’s Fair. See memorable monuments, Citi Field, and other spots at this scenic park. Leaving Queens, travel to Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn, currently NYC’s most prolific neighborhood for street art and graffiti murals. It’s a foodie destination, too, so take a break and grab some food if you’re hungry. In Brooklyn, see the distinct shops, fashion, and eateries of the Hasidic Jewish community that is currently thriving in Williamsburg. Get a chance to appreciate their unique culture. Moving on, from the Dumbo neighborhood and Brooklyn Bridge Park, see the picturesque Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time it was built. Enjoy views of the Manhattan skyline. End your tour in Little Italy. Enjoy this lively cultural district while exploring on your own. Grab dinner, go shopping, or find something else to do to your liking.

From Manhattan: Birthplace of Hip-Hop Bus Tour

8. From Manhattan: Birthplace of Hip-Hop Bus Tour

This Hip-Hop Tour aims to educate and entertain guests in the history of hip-hop, showing the evolution of a truly New York art form through the eyes of actual artists. Each jam-filled bus journey is led by pioneers, including but not limited to GrandMaster Caz (Cold Crush Brothers), Kurtis Blow, Rahiem (Furious Five), and Reggie Reg (Crash Crew). These artists take you through their old stomping grounds while sharing personal stories and anecdotes as only a pre-"old-school" rhyme master could. Follow in their footsteps with photo-friendly pit stops at the legendary Apollo Theater and an array of clubs. This tour cruises through Manhattan and the Bronx, explaining the movement in its formative years and showing how it took its baby steps. Join the musical journey through the birthplace of hip-hop and explore over 3 decades of history.

Other Sightseeing Options in Harlem

Want to discover all there is to do in Harlem? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Harlem

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 547 reviews

This was a fantastic tour and one of the highlights from our whole trip. Gordon was knowledgeable, friendly and fun. We got to see two clubs on the trip, one was old school jazz and another was a newer club with a couple different groups playing. We got to experience Harlem in a way you could never do on your own. Do not hesitate to book this tour, its well worth an evening of your trip.

From the moment we met Carolyn and Jonathan they were great. We even had a party in our group who didn’t speak English very well and Jonathan would do quick translations for them. Tour was great very insightful of life in Haarlem The actual service was something else that I will never forget.

Very informative and very enjoyable. The area is outstanding and the history is important to understand. Our guides Carolyn and Debbie were so very knowledgeable and passionate for the area. The gospel choir great and lunch was amazing.

A jazz concert where there is no middle ground. Either we totally like, or we don't like this type of jazz at all. Thanks to this great group, we loved it.

Exciting tour around Harlem with Debbie and Jonathan.