Nina Jo's Mailing List!

Nina Jo’s Shows

Previous events


Saturday Afternoon Ukulele

Private House Concert, Crown Cove, Corona del Mar, CA

KC Turner Presents Bazaar Stock #8

Bazaar Cafe, 5927 California St., San Francisco, CA

Here we go again. Twelve hours of unmitigated music. I go on at high noon with Jim Bruno and Hobo (buncha hippies). All proceeds proudly go to Music In Schools Today. Eat, drink, be merry, donate lotsa $$$ so kids can have a good music education. Guitars, not guns. Self-expression, not harmful aggression.


Donations to Music In Schools Today


Busking at Fiesta On The Hill

Cortland Avenue @ Bocana, San Francisco, CA



Social Networking

Hello, I'm Nina Jo
Nina Jo Smith playing ukulele at Red Devil Lounge
Folk Music To Go
I play guitar and ukulele, write songs and share them in person, on radio and online. 


I like a song that goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again.


My lyrics are mostly nonfiction because reality is so much stranger and more beautiful.

Nina Jo at Baker Beach, San Francisco, wearing her Dreamcatcher Sweater Nina Jo singing at a house concert

What's New? 
2020 is something else, isn't it? I've been hunkered down, very careful since I got a diagnosis of a lung condition last winter. I'm starting to venture out.
I also love to play house concerts. I plan to do some facebook live shows soon. It's taken me awhile to adjust to CoronaReality of virtual shows. 
Meanwhile, please mask up, everybody!
New Songs
Here’s a professional video of me singing Brokedown Ford live in LA.
New Recording Project

I've begun recording again with Martin Young, my wonderful producer in Ojai. The title of the new project is Out Of The Darkness, title track by Tom Prasada-Rao, a wonderful songwriter, guitarist, violinist and producer in his own right. 
We’ve laid down guitar and vocal for The Grandmother, my requiem based on the killing of Stephon Clark by police in Sacramento. Studio time is booked for instrumental overdubs in San Francisco, overseen by Heidi Trefethen. Please stay tuned for details. This is going to be great. 
Martin Young RecordingTeaching     
Beginning guitar and ukulele! In person or online. Why not try?      

Here's what one student says:

Nina Jo is wonderful. In addition to being a gorgeous, thoughtful and politically activated singer-songwriter, she is also a patient, nurturing and motivating guitar teacher. Because of an old injury to my left hand and wrist, I thought I would never be able to play guitar in any sort of meaningful way. Nina Jo has not only taught me how to modify my playing to suit my hand, she has also shown me that such injuries do not have to hold a person back. Working with Nina Jo has given me a courage ind inspiration that I did not previously have…and my confidence continues to increase by leaps and bounds all the time. Thanks to her patience, flexibility, and genuine kindness, as well as her energy, presence and wisdom, I am absolutely loving learning to play the guitar! I cannot recommend Nina Jo highly enough.--Sam Whitehouse



Now's a good time to contact me to play a show or conduct a workshop in your area. House concerts paired with a songwriting workshop are a great fit!

Peace, love and music, 

Nina Jo 


LA Man wins Global Music Awards, honored with Silver Medals for Outstanding Achievement in folk and lyrics/songwriting (2016)
Global Music Awards Medallion
I'm now a Standing O Project artist. Standing O Project is the online community that gives fans a wealth of music & interviews, and supports working musicians with a monthly income. Check it out at

 Watch this short video to see how we can make a difference in the streaming age:

 If you like what you see & hear, and sign up as a fan or artist and please tell them I sent you!

About Nina Jo
I stole my mom's guitar at about nine years of age and taught myself to play from records, the Joan Baez songbook classic folk song book by John and and Alan Lomax. I kept this up for a good long while and started writing songs in high school. PS, I returned Mom's guitar, kids. 

Nina Jo playing her 1968 Gibson Heritage in high school


On New Year's Eve 1979 my brother was murdered. For a long time I couldn't even listen to music.  Instead I devoted myself to martial arts, teaching self-defense and other anti-violence activism. 


Nina Jo in Martial Arts Demonstration SFSU 1983


Twenty years later I picked up my guitar again and found I could still play and people wanted to listen. I've been picking and singing and learning ever since.Nina Jo and Lee Mallory at Sweetwater 






 People, Places and Sings CD Cover


"Nina Jo Smith has written and recorded a seminal folk classic in 'Hey Songwriter'."

"This is what every songwriter feels when the song comes out of nowhere. Sure, we’re none of us 'Dylan, Taylor & Prine', but we’re fishing in the same stream, just downstream a bit. Produced by Martin Young, with Alan Thornhill on backup vocals, you’ll get goose pimples if you’ve ever wondered where some songs come from."

-–Stephen Foster, “Stephen’s Indie Picks”

You can find Hey Songwriter and more on People, Places and Sings on iTunes, or CDBaby and buy the CD or album download from me at any live show.