Putumayo World Music

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Putumayo World Music
Putumayo World Music logo.png
Founded1993 (1993)
FounderDan Storper
GenreWorld music
Country of originUnited States
LocationNew York City
Official websiteputumayo.com

Putumayo World Music is a New York City-based record label that specializes in compilations of world music.


In 1991, on his way home from Bali, Dan Storper stopped in San Francisco, California. In Golden Gate Park, he heard the Nigerian band Kotoja. He was impressed by the music and the way it gathered many different people.[1] He made a compilation of music he had gathered on his journeys and gathered a positive response. This led him to give out his first release in 1993. Storper took the name of his record label, Putumayo, from Colombia's Putumayo Department where he travelled in 1974, which subsequently came from the name of Putumayo River.[2] The word is said to be the name of a bird (heron).[3]


Every release features the art of Nicola Heindl. Her art is both folky and modern, and, according to the Putumayo website, "represents one of Putumayo's goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary."[4]

Putumayo Presents[edit]

Typically a Putumayo World Music compilation is presented as a theme under the title “Putumayo Presents:” The themes can be regional (South Africa, Caribbean, Asia), music types (reggae, folk, Latin, jazz) and other themes (lounge, groove, party).

The Putumayo Kids division was created in 2002. Since the release of the World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has achieved honors from Parents' Choice Awards and the National Parenting Publications Association, and has grown to be one of the more important children's record labels.[citation needed]

Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000, a commercially-syndicated world music radio show. Rosalie Howarth of KFOG hosts the Music Hour. The weekly show is heard internationally on over 150 commercial and non-commercial stations.[citation needed]

Putumayo has ten offices worldwide.[citation needed] Their products are sold at a network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US. The label claims to distribute their CDs in more than 80 countries around the world.[citation needed]

Putumayo's compilations have been available digitally since August 2011.[5]


  1. ^ Interview with Dan Storper at wholefoodsmarket.com Archived July 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ FAQ: What does the word 'Putumayo' mean?
  3. ^ Interview with Dan Storper at itzcaribbean.com Archived April 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ worldmusic.about.com
  5. ^ Sisario, Ben (29 August 2011). "At Last, a Label Goes Digital". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 September 2012.

External links[edit]