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? 

Stephen Foster’s indie Records is distributing my music online in a friends sharing with friends format where we actually get paid. You get more for your buck here, with liner notes and video accompanying the music track.

Click here to browse and buy.

IMPORTANT: Use download code DFQLHHP2G3H5

LA Man wins Global Music Awards, honored with Silver Medals for Outstanding Achievement in folk and lyrics/songwriting categories March 2016
Global Music Awards medallion
Penny Nichols ncluded LA Man, on her new album Golden State. You can hear our beautiful duo arrangement and buy the CD here.


Cover of Golden State CD by Penny Nichols
LA Man Official Music Video 
LA Man Music Video (Official) Now On You Tube with image of LA City Hall
See it on YouTube here.  - A journey through 1960s California.
Buy LA Man here.
LA Man Music Video (Official) Now On You Tube with image of LA City Hall

"I love this song by Nina Jo Smith! I lived every image that is so beautifully nested in it. I even met Janis once at the Tiffany Theatre on the Sunset Strip. Drove the canyons and the Glen innumerable times, lived in Venice in '66 and would run intoTim Buckley on the bus to Santa Monica or Westwood. In the 70's I lived within sight of the H'wood Bowl. In '82 I headed North. Thank you Nina Jo and Penny for this classic! 

-- Corey Fischer (Amazon Review)

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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