Fall 2010

[Alumni News]

Krista Detor

Singer/songwriter Takes International Stage

Photo courtesy of Krista Detor Photo courtesy of Krista Detor

THE WORDMUDSHOWMIGHT make you think of carnival acts with jugglers and ringmasters. But for Krista Detor (‘91), it’s the name of an album that Rolling Stone magazine calls “a small miracle.”

Detor, a critically acclaimed indie-folk singer, has come a long way from her classical training background. She’s currently on the road touring for her fourth album, “Chocolate Paper Suites,” which has received rave reviews in the U.K. She describes the album as an eclectic romp through a musical landscape that incorporates Americana, folk, rock and ‘40s standards. It debuted in the United States in September.

As a music major at HSU, Detor studied under the late Deborah Clasquin, a piano professor who made a lasting impact. “She was a world-class performer and incredibly passionate,” Detor says. “She opened my eyes to the world of phrasing and nuance. She beat me up a bit, especially when she didn’t think I was giving it my best.

I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.”

Detor gained national exposure when friend and folk artist Carrie Newcomer invited her to join a 2005 U.S. tour. Soon, she established a following. “It was a brand new world, and I was very fortunate,” Detor says. “I got to avoid the grunt work and went straight into the circuit.”

Writing, performing and touring are not her only duties as a musician. She also acts as her own label, negotiating air time, making travel arrangements and stocking her own merchandise. She doesn’t mind it a bit. She has been featured on NPR, the BBC and PBS, shared stages with such luminaries as Aaron Neville and Jakob Dylan, and her music has been featured on film and television soundtracks. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it,” she says.

Detor, who grew up in Torrance, Calif., believes in following her dreams. Her father encouraged her to do what she loved, saying the money would follow. “Some people don’t want that kind of pressure, worrying about where the money comes in and they settle for what’s safe and easy,” she says. “You really have to follow your heart.”