From Tom Waits to George Gershwin to Chopin, the influences on Jesse Jackson,
a renegade musician bending the norms of the dance-obsessed Miami scene, produce a passionate iteration of contemporary soul-folk. You can often spot the blond, affable Jackson performing outside Back Door Bambie, an incongruous figure with his portable amplifier and thrift-store clothes, pulling from a seemingly bottomless pit of fantastic original songs and obscure, wonderful covers. He's a multi-instrumentalist who started on saxophone at age 12 and is now comfy on cuatro, banjo, and guitar, among other instruments. Jackson has called South Florida home since an escape from Las Vegas deposited him here in 2000. Last year, he abandoned traditional venue gigs in favor of busking on the street corners and alleyways of Miami Beach, claiming he makes a better living there than in the clubs.
Jesse Jackson performs at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 6, at the 73rd Street Band Shell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The show is free.