NADINE WA KALONJI
Some people say that music is the essence of life. It is like a river that, after having captured your ear, bursts into little streams of pleasure. Flowing into your veins, the beats and rhythms of the music submerge your body into a flood of feel-good sensations.
Putumayo music takes you to a higher level of enjoyment, introducing you to a world of international music. The Putumayo World Music record label, as it is today, began with Dan Storper’s love for culture and music.
After graduating from his Latin American studies at Washington University in 1973, he was inspired to travel to South America. Ecuador, Peru and Columbia are some of the countries he visited while he was there.
In 1975, Stroper established a small handicraft shop in New York City, that traded in clothing items and some crafts he had collected during his travels. He chose to name this shop Putumayo – named after a river that fl ows from Columbia, skims the borders of Peru and Ecuador and makes its way to the Amazon in Brazil.
The success of this store had Storper designing contemporary and cultural clothing and supplying them to 600 other stores. After selling the Putumayo shop in 1997, Storper dedicated his efforts to starting a music company that would provide the joy of international music to people all over the world.
Putumayo World Music is now a company that stretches across the globe, allowing people to enjoy music from many cultures throughout the world. The Putumayo music corporation now has 15 offi ces in countries around the world.
The growth of the company has only experienced success after success. Not only did the opening of Putumayo Europe in the Netherlands open musical doors in Europe, it has also been able to establish connections in Africa and in other continents like Asia and South America. Putumayo World Music has set some milestones among music companies in the course of its existence.
Some stars that have featured in these successes hail from our own continent. Homeland, an album of the late Miriam Makeba, which was released by the company, was nominated for Best World Music Album in 2000. Also, in 2002, Zimbabwean singer and guitarist, Oliver Mtukudzi, toured USA and performed at The Late Show With David Letterman.
Beninese singer and songwriter, Angélique Kidjo also had the honour of hosting the label’s tenth anniversary special. The internationally recognised music company continues to branch out into different spheres. With the help of Jacob Edgar, the sister record label, Cumbancha, was launched in 2006.
Putumayo kids is an extension of the record label and has also enjoyed three spots on the top ten best-selling Putumayo albums. Putumayo CD’s are available at most record stores and can also be purchased online.
They also offer full refunds to those who are unhappy with CD’s that have been purchased. For more information on Putumayo World music, be sure to go their website:, www.putumayo.com.