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

Rich Reuter 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.  Reuter made a return visit to 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 25th and 27th at the Dayton Art Institute.

With the recent release of their latest album, Hard to Please,  The Black Lillies' tour is bringing them to the Miami Valley for a show.  The band visited the WYSO studios to share some tracks from the album and chatted with Niki Dakota about writing, recording and more.

The Black Lillies will perform at Oddbody's on Tuesday, November 19th. 

courtesy of the artist

Christopher Diaz perform as part of a cappella group The Exchange, which was featured on NBC's The Sing-Off.  Diaz has also served as a vocal coach and join Niki Dakota in the WYSO studios ahead of The Exchange's performance in Kettering.

The Exchange will join over 60 other a cappella groups performing at Kettering Fairmont High School's Trent Arena on Saturday, November 14th.

courtesy of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

Puccini's tragic love story, Madame Butterfly, is the latest offering from Dayton Opera.  Stage director Albert Sherman, tenor John Pickle and soprano Yunah Lee join WYSO's Niki Dakota live in the studio for a preview of the production in conversation and song.

Dayton Opera's production of Madame Butterfly is Friday, November 20th and Sunday, November 22nd at the Schuster Center.

Dan Tedesco returns to the WYSO studios ahead of his Canal Public House gig along with Dylan Boyle for a live performance on Excursions.  Tesdeco chatted with Niki Dakota about his new self-titled album, his latest travels and more.

Dan Tedesco will perform at Canal Public House on Sunday, October 27th.

courtesy of Dayton Performing Arts Alliance

Stella Sung is an award-winning composer who's been serving as composer in residence with the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance for the past three years.  The culminating work of this residency is a one-act opera, The Book Collector, which will debut in May.  Sung visited the WYSO studios for a conversation with music director Niki Dakota about developing the opera.

Members of the Miami Valley Music Men made a return visit to the WYSO studios ahead of their 30th anniversary show, themed Halloween Party.  Singers from the group provided a musical preview and talked about barbershop style. the concert's history and more.

The Miami Valley Music Men's 30th Anniversary concert is at Fairborn High School Auditorium on Friday, October 23rd and Saturday, October 24th.

Juliet Fromholt / WYSO

This year marks the fourth annual Dayton Dia de los Muertos celebration.  The day is a celebration of life and loved ones in the Mexican tradition with a parade, imagery of sugar skulls and more.  Three of the organizers, London Coe, Gabriela Pickett, and Tiffany Clark visited the WYSO studios to chat with Niki Dakota about the tradition and this year's event.

Dia de los Muertos Dayton will take place on Sunday, November 1st with a parade down Fifth Street and will culminate at the Missing Peace Art Space.

Filmmakers Eryn Montgomery and Kel Lind join WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota in the studio to talk about the films they're presenting in this weekend's Big Lens Film Festival, which showcases new work from Wright State University's film program.

The Big Lens Film Festival is Friday, October 16th at the Dayton Art Institute.

Ahead of his appearance in Dayton, comedian Bill Burr chats with WYSO Music Director Niki Dakota about his comedy, podcasting and more.

Bill Burr will perform at the Schuster Center on October 20th at 7pm.