Dec. 12, Quicken Loans Arena, theqarena.com
After seven years without releasing an album, Justin Timberlake made up for it by dropping his 70-minute pop epic The 20/20 Experience in March. Fans who visit him at The Q will witness swirling string arrangements from neo-soul cuts such as "Pusher Love Girl" and "Strawberry Bubblegum."
Yo La Tengo
Sept. 15, Grog Shop, grogshop.gs
It's hard to put a finger on what to expect from a Yo La Tengo show nowadays. With 13 albums during the course of the group's 29-year-career, Yo La Tengo has proved that it can tug at the heartstrings with somber acoustic tracks such as "I'll Be Around" or widen your eyes with sprawling garage rock slow-burners such as "I Heard You Looking." Prepare for an eclectic, rocking and powerful set from these savvy indie vets.
The Avett Brothers
Sept. 20, Jacobs Pavilion, livenation.com
They may not have hit it big until 2009's I and Love and You, but these Carolina boys have been plucking banjos and strumming guitars since the early 2000s. Now with a couple Rick Rubin-produced albums and a Grammy nomination under their belt, the Avett Brothers' sound is able to breathe in the larger venues that it deserves, with the rootsy folk-rock cascading across the expanding crowds.
Nov. 1, Beachland Ballroom, beachlandballroom.com
These New Jersey alternative rockers may be in the midst of their 33rd year as a band, but that won't stop lead guitarist Jim Babjak from unleashing the sharp riffs and killer solos we've come to expect in songs such as "Blood and Roses" and "A Girl Like You." Fresh off a stint opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, they will perform two full sets of '80s and '90s alternative rock when they hit the Beachland stage.
Classical & Jazz
Miles Davis Tribute
Nov. 16, Hanna Theatre, clevelandjazz.org
One of the most influential jazz musicians of all time gets the spotlight with this big band celebration that's a part of Cleveland Jazz Orchestra's The Many Faces of Miles series. The orchestra performs selections of his more serene, earlier works, including songs he recorded with Gil Evans from the '40s through the '60s, and tracks from the 'Round About Midnight and Milestones albums.
Fate and Freedom: Music of Beethoven and Shostakovich
Oct. 22-26, various locations, clevelandorchestra.com
It's like South by Southwest for the classical music crowd. The three-concert Cleveland Orchestra series presents back-to-back symphonies from Beethoven and Shostakovich spanning two centuries. Sidebars, including films and preconcert talks with music director Franz Welser-Möst, provide more insight into events that shaped each composer's work.
Ballroom with a Twist
Nov. 9, Severance Hall, clevelandpops.com
Go beyond the DVR and see your favorite dancing and singing reality show stars perform during this touring production. With a rotating lineup of celebrities tapped for each city (we're keeping our fingers crossed for Dancing with the Stars champion and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson or American Idol's Gina Glocksen), whoever steps on stage will be backed by the smooth sounds of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.
Tangos & Fandangos with Boccherini & Friends
Nov. 15-19, various locations, apollosfire.org
Dueling piano bars have nothing on this evening of cellos and guitars duking it out to a round of Mediterranean compositions. Listen to renowned cellists René Schiffer and Mimé Brinkmann riff off each other during a piece by Italian composer Luigi Boccherini and watch as guitarists go head-to-head in a fandango by Spanish composer Santiago de Murica.