edyeJan Krist Bio

I learned to love songs when I was a toddler. My first performance was for the neighborhood. Wearing a one -piece bathing suit I swung my arms rhythmically and belted out “she wore and itsy bitsy teeny weenie yellow polka dot bikini” for everyone living on Madison Street. I was three at the time. From there I went on to perform Coke commercials on my Aunt’s fireplace hearth, bible songs for the VBA and then, my first big break, a duet with pal, Curtis Armstrong (a.k.a. ‘Booger’ in Revenge of the Nerds) at the Little Theatre, Berkley High School, Berkley, MI, 1970. Married at 18, and a mom at 19, music became my retreat. It was cheap therapy and the best part time job ever. I cut my gig teeth on Mitchell and Motown, singing and playing 4 solo sets a night at clubs in and around Detroit. In 1993 I released my first recording, “Decapitated Society” More than once person told me they bought the CD thinking I was part of an all girl metal band. They were quick to say how much they enjoyed it, even though it wasn’t at all what they expected. Regardless of the rocky start my little CD was met with rave reviews from Billboard, Dirty Linen, and many other publications.

“When Bob Darden, a critic for Billboard Magazine first heard Jan Krist’s music, he was driving down one of those Texas back roads. Within a minute, he had to pull over to the side of the road – he was that moved by her plangent, poignant song, “Someone”.   Those who know Krist’s work are never surprised by that story. They have all had the same sort of experience. Krist is a great singer-songwriter: Expert guitar chops (including the use of rich open tunings) literate lyrics, and the indescribable ratio between emotion, honesty and humor that makes for a devoted following.” Greg Wolfe, Image Journal

In 1994 I was signed to Silent Planet Records, where I released 4 more CDs. Each received national attention with my first Silent Planet release, Curious, hitting the Americana charts at #29.

For me songwriting occupies the space between the sacred and the absurd. It’s meant to be shared, I’m so fortunate to be able to be part of this amazing tradition of singer songwriters in he U.S.

I have recorded with great musicians in fine studios and alone in my living room with a lap top either way- I’m a lucky girl.

Quotes about Jan’s Music:

“Her music possesses an indescribable ratio between emotion, honesty and humor that makes for a devoted following.”       Greg Wolf, Image Journal

“Her talent as a songwriter equals – if not surpasses – her vocal gifts. She has an uncanny way of cutting to the heart of a topic and providing the listener with food for thought…evocative … somewhere between Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush, but it’s all Jan Krist. Unreservedly recommended.”                                              Bob Darden, Billboard Magazine

I am a founding member of Michigan’s Yellow Room Gang, an 8 member community of award winning songwriters  that has met monthly since Nov. 2004 to critique their newest songs. They also conduct public workshops at festivals and libraries.

Jan Krist and Jim Bizer

Jim Bizer and I met and made music as teens. Over the years we have played together and performed on each others CDs. We now have two CDs together, Influence and Too. You can find more information on our music and links to our work at :

Little known Krist factoids:

I received her BFA from Indiana Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2015, with a concentration in ceramic art.

I have three great kids:

My daughter, Amon Krist Colburn, was a singer in Velour 100

My Son Ian Krist plays vibraphone for Blind Pilot

My son Michael Krist is a mortgage banker and a trainer for Shore Mortgage. He composes in secret and sings for the joy of it.

I am married to drummer/producer Alan Finkbeiner. Alan is a sales tech for the online music mega store Sweetwater Sound.

Discography: Decapitated Society, Wing and a Prayer, Curious, Love big, us small, Wounded you wounded me, Outpost of the counter culture, Decap/Wing double CD, When the planets collide, Fallow ground, Influence w/ Jim Bizer, Too w/ Jim Bizer, The Yellow Room Gang (with the Yellow Room Gang, YRG), Happy New Day (w/ YRG), Live from big sky (w/YRG)


1992 and 2015 ,  Kerrville “New Folk Finalist”. 4 Detroit Music Awards and 15 nominations for the Detroit Music Awards.


Festival Performances:

I have appeared at many festivals from Pennsylvania to California. Highlights include the Ann Arbor Folk Festival (MI), Tree Frog Fest (MN), Bliss Fest (MI), Wheatland Music Fest (MI) and Cornerstone Festival (IL), Spring Gulch Fest (PA), Kerrville Folk Festival( TX), and Thumb Fest (MI).

Noted Venue Performances:

I have appeared at many renowned folk clubs around the country including The Tin Angel (PA), Eddies Attic (GA), The World Cafe (PA) , Uncle Calvin’s (TX), Madison Folklore Society (WI), The Ark (MI), Club Passim (MA), The Bluebird (TN),and the Ark (MI)  just to name a few.

My music has been played on public radio stations and commercial Americana stations across the country, in Canada  and in Europe. My CD “Curious,” hit the Americana charts at #29 in 1995. I have performed on Rich Warren’s “Folk Stage Live” (WFMT, Chicago Public Radio) several times and was a frequent guest on Matt Watroba’s “Folks Like US” show. (WDET, Detroit Public Radio)