Best Of 2011

BEST STEPPING-UP OF PROGRAMMING: Ruth Eckerd Hall

While the Clearwater venue still caters to its season pass-holding patrons with a schedule of acts you’d expect to see there — Natalie Cole, Tom Jones and the like — Ruth Eckerd is clearly reaching out to a younger, hipper and more musically selective audience. Wilco, MGMT, Avett Brothers, Primus, and even Levon Helm Band with Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs all drew a diverse assortment of people, and this season is looking up with scheduled performances by Joe Jonas and Jay Sean, Duran Duran and The Script. Ruth Eckerd has also been booking talent at Capitol Theatre, and Norwegian indie pop singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche as well as Grammy-winning country songstress Shelby Lynne are both scheduled to drop in this fall. 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.