Niki Dakota

Music Director and Host, Excursions

Born a Hoosier, but only living there in spurts, Niki Dakota spent much of her young life moving around the United States with her archeologist mother. Throughout these years, there was always a ukulele somewhere close at hand. By the time the family settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ms. Dakota found herself in pursuit of professional music-making as she headed-up the Alterna-Folk band, Plow On Boy. In the course of her first live radio interview to promote the band, Niki’s keen excitedness manifest itself in extreme chattiness. At the conclusion of the segment, the DJ closed the mic and said, “You need to be in radio."  That was in 1990.

In 2002, Niki’s radio career brought her to WYSO where she continues to enjoy a love of music and shares that love with the Miami Valley weekdays on Excursions.

Ways To Connect

courtesy of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

This weekend, the Dayton Philharmonic will present Benjamin Britten's War Requiem conducted by Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops Orchestra.  The concert is a collaboration between the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance and Wright State University's center for Collaborative Education, Leadership, and Innovation in the Arts (CELIA) and will serve as a capstone WSU's year-long commemoration of the 100th anniversary of WWI.  Dr. Paul Lockhart, a WSU history professor and Keith Lockhart's brother, will present a pre-concert lecture about the historic aspect of War Requiem.

Jennifer Taylor

Dayton Does Dayton is a two-day musical showcase that features Dayton-based artists performing their own original material as well as covers of their favorite local artists' work.  Each evening features full bands as well as a songwriters in the round session.  Full band DC Connection and songwriter Daniel White, visited the WYSO studios for a live set on Excursions and talked to Niki Dakota about the upcoming show.

Dayton Does Dayton is March 13th and 14th at Gilly's in downtown Dayton.

Jennifer Taylor

Dayton Does Dayton is a two-day musical showcase that features Dayton-based artists performing their own original material as well as covers of their favorite local artists' work.  Each evening features full bands as well as a songwriters in the round session.  Two of those performers, John Mullen and Mike Slone, visited the WYSO studios for a live set on Excursions and talked to Niki Dakota about the upcoming show.

Dayton Does Dayton is March 13th and 14th at Gilly's in downtown Dayton.

Leighann Lord is a stand-up comedian, author and host of StarTalk who incorporates science, words and more into her work.  Ahead of visit to Yellow Springs, Lord spoke with WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about the roots of her latest book, working with Neil deGrasse Tyson and more.

Leighann Lord will perform at the Antioch School's 19th Annual Auction Gala & Comedy Show at the Foundry Theatre on March 7th.

courtesy of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

This winter, Dayton Opera will present a production of Dead Man Walking, an opera based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean.  Stage director Gary Briggle joined WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio to talk about the production.  They were also joined by mezz-soprano Amanda Fink, baritone Zachary Gordin and Dayton opera chorus master Jeff Powell, who previewed some selections from the show.

Guitarist Keith Lykins creates unique sounds with modified instruments of his own design like the drum guitar he brought along to the WYSO studios.  Lykins performed songs live on the air during Excursions with it and several other instruments and talked to WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about his latest album Encryptions and his musical journey.

Keith Lykins will perform at the Yellow Springs Library on February 21st and at the Wilmington-Stroop library in Kettering on February 28th.

Dayton's flat track roller derby team, the Gem City Rollergirls, are preparing for the opening bout of their 2015 season.  Three members of the team visited the WYSO studios to chat with Niki Dakota about roller derby past and present and the Gem City Rollergirls' nearly 10 year history as well as upcoming events.

The Gem City Rollergirls' season opener is February 28th at Hara Arena.

Helene Fischman

A chance conversation at a local gig started a friendship between folk musician Peter Mulvey and Shrug's Tod Weidner.  Year later, they'll once again perform together at Canal Public House and joined WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio for a preview set ahead of that show.

Peter Mulvey and Shrug will perform together on Friday, February 13th at Canal Public House.

Native New Yorker Joe Driscoll met his West African collaborator Sekou Kouyate in England where Kouyate lived up to his nickname of being "the Jimi Hendrix of the kora." An album, Faya, followed and the pair are now on tour and will be appear in Dayton as part of the University of Dayton's ArtsLive series.  Driscoll visited the WYSO studios ahead of the duo's UD performance for an acoustic set on Excursions and spoke with Music Director Niki Dakota about this unique collaboration.

Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate will perform on February 12th at UD's Boll Theater.

On Friday the 13th, Babbling April will celebrate the release of their debut EP with a show at Blind Bob's in the Oregon District.  They'll be joined onstage by Grenades!?, who recently released their own debut album, Interrobang.  Members of both bands visited the WYSO studios for a conversation with Niki Dakota on Excursions and shared tracks from these new releases.

Babbling April and Grenades!? will perform Friday, February 13th, at Blind Bobs in downtown Dayton.

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