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Putumayo Trippin' On World Music

Putumayo, the label known for its compilations of music from around the world that were sold in non-traditional outlets, is celebrating its 25th anniversary by launching Putumayo World Travel.

Putumayo Founder/CEO Dan Storper and longtime Putumayo music researcher Jacob Edgar have partnered with insightCuba/Masala Expeditions to explore the music and culture of various lands. They’ve been to Cuba twice and will visit New Orleans in March and Peru in May.

“The music industry has moved from products to experiences and Putumayo has been creating experiences from the day we started back in 1993,” says Edgar, host of the public television series Music Voyager and a cultural specialist on National Geographic Expeditions ships. “Over the years, we’ve been traveling the world in search of compelling songs that would transport people and offer new perspectives. We realized it made sense to bring our fans on an actual journey, to enable them to join us on explorations of our fascinating planet.”

The expeditions use musical hotspots as a jumping off point for learning about local history, art, food, language and society.

Storper adds, “While the internet has brought the world to our fingertips, offering a vast ocean of content, it also makes our role as curators even more necessary. At the same time, there is a rise in xenophobic nationalism and fear of ‘the other.’ We have long tried to overcome such attitudes by trying to present the world’s music and culture to people of all ages, backgrounds and political beliefs.”

The label has spent the year expanding its digital content and streaming, and in the spring will launch a subscription program that includes playlists, and physical and digital products. The company is also collaborating with Barefoot Books and Secret Mountain on cultural children’s books and greeting cards with song downloads.