Eight Gigs: Jesi Naomi

Wed., March 4, noon, Sacramento State University Union, no cover

Local singer-songwriter Jesi Naomi cites Herbie Hancock as a big influence because of his positive energy, and Billy Holliday, who of course, is known for giving a voice to her deep pain and hurt. If this seems contradictory, Naomi clarifies: She likes that middle ground in her own music—not too happy, not too sad, but influences from both ends of the spectrum. It's the struggle to stay optimistic in the face of life's problems that she wants to express. And she does it with a keen understanding of soul, blues and jazz—on the piano and guitar. Naomi's friend Jenny Clower, from Tennessee, opens the show. 6000 J Street, https://soundcloud.com/jesi-naomi.