Hello, I'm Nina Jo
Nina Jo Smith playing ukulele at Red Devil Lounge
Hello, I'm Nina Jo from San Francisco. I play guitar and ukulele, write songs and share them in person, on radio and online. 
Nina Jo performing at SF Porchfest 2016 photo collage with audience members shown
"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

 Nina Jo at Baker Beach, San Francisco, wearing her Dreamcatcher Sweater 

I also love to play house concerts. Are you interested in hosting a live intimate concert from the comfort of your home? I can help make it easy and fun. Just contact me via my House Concert link on my "Shows" page.

Nina Jo playing ukulele at House Concert in Fresno, CA Nina Jo playing guitar at a house concert

What's New? 
Women Of Song In The Round
I’m very excited to announce my long-awaited debut performing at The Lost Church, San Francisco. In the round! With Jean Mann and Annie Bacon.

Jean Mann is one of my very best friends and favorite touring musicians. Based in Seattle, she will beguile you with her tenor guitar and poetic lyrics. http://jeanmann.net/

Annie Bacon always knocks my socks off with her musicality, her wit, her skills and humanity. In fact this entire evening is brimming with gorgeous humanity. And everyone knows, everything’s better with Bacon! http://www.anniebacon.me

What: Private Parlor Show

When: 4/8/2017 8pm showtime

Where: The Lost Church, San Francisco

Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Website: http://thelostchurch.com

 jean mann, Annie Bacon, Nina Jo Smith


Hello, 2017. 

Well, hasn’t it been a time!

Dateline: January 2017, Pinhole Coffee, San Francisco, CA

We're facing a tough road ahead, folks. I'm convinced we are going to need each other and all our creativity to make it through mostly intact. To that end, I am hosting a songwriting workshop taught by Tom Kimmel for 10 participants in my cozy Bernal Heights living room. 

SummerSongs West

This is the beautiful songwriting camp where I met Tom Kimmel and many other great friends. It nourishes my spirit and my art. I always say that each camp grows my skills by about 2 years every 6 months.

SummerSongs West is a gathering for songwriters that takes place at spectacular Camp Ocean Pines overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Cambria, CA. We will be offering an all-levels buffet of classes in songwriting, guitar, singing, harmony, piano, performance, and more in addition to a full menu of concerts, coffeehouses and song circles. Students and teachers alike will share songs, information, insights, trade stories and perform for the community we have grown to love. Teachers will include Penny NicholsSusan Marie Reeves,  Mark Dann, Dale LaDuke, Ed Tree and our fabulous roster of guest coaches. 

I’m planning to offer individual coaching on using your body skillfully to prevent (or recover from) overuse injury.

PS I’m coordinating Work Scholarships!

What: Songwriting Retreat

When:  6/1 - 6/5

Where: Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA

Register here: http://www.summersongs.com/

 SummerSongs Sunset, Cambria, CA

Peace, love and music,

Nina Jo 


LA Man wins Global Music Awards, honored with Silver Medals for Outstanding Achievement in folk and lyrics/songwritin6 (2016)
Global Music Awards Medallion
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 loving 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, Amazon.com or CDBaby and buy the CD or album download from me at any live show. 

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