Nina Jo Smith / Bio

Nina Jo plays 6, 12 string guitars and ukulele with clean, inventive picking. She sings in a voice that ranges from city smooth to mountain plain. Her first full-length studio album, the successfully Kickstarted "People, Places and Sings" released 4/29/13 is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby.

1) I’m named after my mom’s mom, Nina and my dad’s sister, Jo. Nina rhymes with China.

2) My grandfather was the first artist I knew. We used to paint side-by-side in his garage-studio.

3) My brother was murdered on the last day of1979, the eve of a new decade. I couldn’t even listen to music for a year. Name any song from the 80s; I probably don’t know it. I stopped playing music for about twenty years, earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a master’s in Physical Education, founded The SAFE Place at San Francisco State and taught self-defense to more than a thousand people.

4) I stole my mom's guitar when I was about nine and taught myself to play by listening to her Joan Baez records.

5) I still have the mud-caked dictionary with pressed flowers in it that flew out the back window of my VW bug when I rolled it driving home from Fairbanks on the AlCan in the Yukon Territory 90 miles from the nearest town.

6) When I was a really little kid on days we could see the Channel Islands, I’d say, “The islands are up!” because I thought they sank out of sight when they weren’t visible.

7) I rehabilitated myself from a concussion I got on Cinco de Mayo 1995 by practicing drawing, painting, storytelling, theatre and finally returned to music.

8) I started playing open mics in San Francisco in the early 2000s right around the time I turned fifty.

9) I think Belly Laughs make the world go ‘round.

"I like a song that goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again." ~ Nina Jo

General Info

Band Members
Nina Jo Smith
Artist Name
Nina Jo Smith
Profile Page
Folk / Singer Songwriter / Acoustic

Contact Info

San Francisco, CA

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