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

Indiana band and Dayton-based artist Ridge Clint Higgins are among the over 30 participants in this year's Songwriters Solstice fundraiser at Ghostlight Coffee to benefit the Dayton Foodbank.  They visited the WYSO studios ahead of the event to perform live on Excursions and spoke with Niki Dakota about their musical roots and more.

Songwriters Solstice is December 19th and 20th at Ghostlight Coffee. 

The members of Gran Bel Fisher returned to the WYSO studios ahead of their performance in Yellow Springs for a live in-studio performance on Excursions.  They spoke with WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about their upcoming record and the Kickstarter campaign to support it.

Gran Bel Fisher will perform at Peaches in Yellow Springs on December 20th.

Willy Clark's musical career began with busking, which is how WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota first experienced his music.  Clark visited the WYSO studios for a live performance on Excursions and talked with Dakota about songwriting and his musical journey.

Willy Clark will perform at One Eyed Jackson on Saturday, December 20th.

In early 2015, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will debut a new work choreographed by Kiesha Lalama.  Heart Shakes is based on the music of the Alabama Shakes and tells the story of different phases of a relationship through dance.  Lalama visited the WYSO studios along with DCDC's Jay Peterson to talk about the work, which is making its world premiere in Dayton.

DCDC will present Heart Shakes on January 31st at the Victoria Theater.

Steve Makofka is one of 30 local musicians participating in Such A Night: The Last Waltz live, a musical recreation of the Band's The Last Waltz to benefit WYSO.  Makofka visited the WYSO studios for a live set on the air and spoke with Niki Dakota about the collaborative show as well as what he's been up to musically.

Such A Night: The Last Waltz Live to benefit WYSO is November 26th and 28th at the Dayton Art Institute.

Actor, songwriter, and musician Michael Malarkey called into the WYSO studios ahead of his show at the Canal Public House on November 29th. Tune in to hear him talk about his lifelong passion for music and his recent success playing Enzo on the CW show The Vampire Diaries.

Tod Weidner is one of 30 local musicians participating in Such A Night: The Last Waltz live, a musical recreation of the Band's The Last Waltz to benefit WYSO.  Weidner visited the WYSO studios for a live set on the air and spoke with Niki Dakota about the collaborative show as well as what he's been up to musically.

Such A Night: The Last Waltz Live to benefit WYSO is November 26th and 28th at the Dayton Art Institute.

Charlie Tipton is one of 30 local musicians participating in Such A Night: The Last Waltz live, a musical recreation of the Band's The Last Waltz to benefit WYSO.  Tipton visited the WYSO studios for an acoustic set on the air and spoke with Niki Dakota about the collaborative show as well as what he's been up to musically.

Such A Night: The Last Waltz Live to benefit WYSO is November 26th and 28th at the Dayton Art Institute.

Gery and Gary Deer have performance in their blood.  With their Brothers and Company Variety Show, the Deer Brothers perform a mix of music from a variety of genres as well as comedy, magic and more.  The Deer brothers visited the WYSO studios to talk about their unique show and a very special upcoming benefit performance.

The Brothers and Company Variety Show will perform to benefit the Jamestown Operahouse on November 22nd at 7pm.

Formerly performing under the name Customer Service and the Gem City Horns, the 8 piece Gem City returned to the WYSO studios for a live performance on Excursions.  They talked to Niki Dakota about their upcoming album, the evolution of the band, and having all of the members as roommates.

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