Best Sounding Venue

Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

This isn’t a fair fight. When it comes to acoustics, smaller rooms generally have the advantage over bigger ones. A sports arena can’t compete with a black box theatre. So we split the difference, choosing the middle-sized room at TBPAC. Ferguson Hall has 1,042 seats, and every single one affords a gorgeous listening (and viewing) experience. The room hosts some of the Florida Orchestra’s smaller performances, as well as an array of comics, plays, dance and music. Three jazz-oriented shows in recent years have really shown off Ferguson Hall’s superb sonics: the Marcus Roberts Trio, Pat Metheny Trio and Lizz Wright. Too bad the Bay area can’t support more jazz shows — the Ferg is perfect for them. In lieu of that, on Nov. 5, you might want to check out Ba Cissoko, a Guinean group that showcases the 20-stringed African kora.

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