DK and the Joy Machine
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DK and the Joy Machine

Brooklyn, New York, United States

Brooklyn, New York, United States
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"KME - Karel Music Expo"

"... a rare example of contemporary folk, ancient as a medieval melody, wide as the sun." -

"Stark Realty"

"... naughty and nice music... a folk artist like no one else!" - Viviana

"Junior's Cave"

“The diversity of her music is one of the highpoints to DK’s music. She has such a passion, love, and respect for what she does that each song she crafts/creates come out sounding original, quirky, and smart. It is, however, her command over the dulcimer that is the best part to how DK and her Joy Machine sound to others.” - Issac Davis July 10, 2013

"Vents Magazine"

“Love Harder is an album with heart, feeling, beauty, and passion. In every chord, note, or string you can feel poetry, sincerity, greatness. Two pieces of evidence for this are “Siamese Twins” and “These Four Walls.” In the latter track, Dian takes the time to sing and her voice will immediately remind many of us of singers such as Dido/Dolores O’Riordan (The Cranberries)/Alanis Morissette. “Love Harder” is another song where string instruments combine to deliver something powerful, epic, and really experimental... It’s really poetic and captivating...this is a record to closely pay attention to and be delighted by...” - RJ Fromenta February 12, 2013

"What I Read and Watched"

“What a treat! Last night I got to hear DK and the Joy Machine perform at Sidewalk. DK commands both acoustic and electric dulcimer with graceful mastery. She was joined by Sho Handa on percussion. Beautiful sounds. Her original songs are quirky and smart, and her singing is just wonderful. Lovely range from soft highs to much deeper notes. It was a fabulous evening and I look forward to more.” -


Still working on that hot first release.



DK&theJoyMachine's new album, SHY ONE, out April 27th, 2015, has been described as "...intense, colorful and diverse ... a novel of sorts. Dark, light, humorous & humble. " Her "quirky and smart" songs celebrate all the crucial things in life: unrequited love, falling in love with feral cats, and treating yourself with kindness. Known for her sultry, expressive voice, well crafted songs, and genre-blending, innovative work on mountain dulcimer---plucking, strumming, bowing and “rocking out” on this trad instrument, “DK”'s music is at turns evocative, moving, playful and fun, and always genuine. Her first studio recording, the EP, "Love Harder," released in January 25th, 2013, was described by VENTS magazine as "an album with heart,, and passion. In every chord, note, or string you can feel poetry, sincerity, greatness... a record to closely pay attention to and be delighted by."

Mid-East Mountain Dulcimer champion, “DK“ also won first place on “The Joy Machine” in the Great Trails Dulcimer contest in her 20s. After being on hiatus for some 15 years, she came back to performing with gusto in 2012, writing new, innovative material and further pushing the boundaries on this trad instrument.

As a teen, "DK" made her first dulcimer out of cardboard, from a kit, with fret wires out of bent nails. Once she got her hands on a real wood dulcimer, she gave up guitar to focus exclusively on the instrument that stole her heart. “The dulcimer is sweet, earthy and mournful, haunting and unique in the West (other than the hurdy-gurdy) as being the only stringed instrument with a drone (like a Western sitar or stringed bag pipe). So many singer-songwriters play guitar---I was drawn to something different. I still am.”

Already an accomplished songwriter and composer, for eight years, while living in Dublin, Ireland, she adopted Irish tunes for dulcimer, playing in trad sessions and traditional Americana on the stage, including with Hank Halfhead and the Rambling Turkeys. After returning to the US and winning first place in several dulcimer contests, she went on hiatus for more than a decade. During this time she worked as a writer, union organizer, and activist. After being told by her cat (via a cat whisperer) that she should sing more and a statue of five Ganesha miraculously appeared in her home via an Indian holy man---each playing an instrument, DK took this (and other signs, such as breaking up with her girlfriend and seeing Amy Ray live in concert for the first time) as divine intervention and began singing and playing again, writing new material and performing out on dulcimer since April, 2012. Since then, she has been a featured performer at venues and festivals in NYC, Paris (France), Germany, Cambridge (MA), Washington, DC, and throughout the South. To hear more of her old timey and Americana work, visit

In addition to creating own music, DK is also an arts activist, curating THE SONGBIRD SERIES creating visibility for women artists:  

She performs solo with the dulcimer and/or with guest artists, including Concetta Abbate (fiddle), Tine Kindermann (saw), and others

Band Members