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

The Zygotes Release 82

Feb 19, 2016

The Zygotes performed a special acoustic set live on Excursions ahead of the release of their fully electric album 82.  The band chatted with WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about the process of writing and recording the album as well as the upcoming release party.

The Zygotes will celebrate the release of 82 on February 19th at the Yellow Cab.

courtesy of Dayton History

Memorial Hall has a history of hosting boxing matches, and the upcoming Fight Night event will benefit Dayton History, the organization that manages the venue as well as many other historical sites in the Miami Valley. Dayton History's Samantha Redden and trainer Sensei Brown visited the WYSO studios to talk about the event live on Excursions with Niki Dakota.

Fight Night is Saturday, February 27th at Memorial Hall at

TechFest is a hands-on exploration of STEM for Miami Valley families. Organizer Lyle Lockwood joins Niki Dakota in the WYSO studio to talk about TechFest 2016

TechFest 2016 is February 13th and 14th at Sinclair Community College.

courtesy of Dayton Ballet

This weekend, the Dayton Ballet will present four short ballets as part of February Fantasy.  The perform will include the world premiere of two new works, Melissa Barack's Tonal Inceptions and Karen Russo Burke's No Strings Attached, which feature original guitar music from D. Adam Estner.  Estner and the Dayton Ballet's Kathy Reed visited the WYSO studios to discuss the upcoming performance with Niki Dakota and Estner shared a sampling of his music.

Francesca Blanchard's latest album, Deux Visions, features songs in French and English.  Blanchard visited the WYSO studios ahead of her UD ArtsLive performance for a preview set on Excursions.

Francesca Blanchard will perform at the University of Dayton's Sears Recital Hall on February 4th at 8pm.

Vessel make a return visit to the WYSO studios ahead of their appearance at Oscar's Bar and Grill in Vandalia.  The Louisville-based band performed a preview of the evening's show and chatted with WYSO music director Niki Dakota.

Vessel will perform at Oscars Bar and Grill on Thursday, January

Formerly of the band Left Hand Hold, Tony Leibold is now out on his own with a new EP.  Leibold visited the WYSO studios to perform live on Excursions and chatted with WYSO music director Niki Dakota about writing, recording and touring.

Tony Leibold will perform at Canal Public House on January 12th and February 16th. 

Currently based in the UK, Dayton area native Meg Cavanugh recently released her latest full length album, Hello Mr. Magpie.  Cavanaugh and Steve Falearos visited the WYSO studios for a live acoustic performance on Excursions.

Meg Cavanaugh will celebrate the release of Hello Mr. Magpie with a performance at Canal Public House on Wednesday, January 6th.

Comedian Adrian Cosby returned to the WYSO studios for conversation with Niki Dakota live on Excursions ahead of  a string of local and regional performances.  He talked about splitting time between Chicago and Dayton, his career, soccer and more.

Adrian Cosby will perform at the Spirited Goat coffeehouse in Yellow Springs on Friday, December 18th. 

Rick Good, Sharon Leahy and Michael and Sandy Bashaw have combined their collective musical efforts to form The Elements.  The band visited the WYSO studio for a live set on Excursions and chatted with Niki Dakota about their longstanding musical friendship.

The Elements will perform on Sunday, December 27th at Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music in Columbus.

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