Putumayo's Dan Storper at NSS
Founded by Dan Storper in 1993, global music label Putumayo World Music is observing its 25th anniversary, and as part of the celebration, has just released New Orleans Party—also in celebration of the New Orleans Tricentennial.
But New Orleans resident Storper was in New York last week to promote his expanded greeting cards line at the National Stationery Show (NSS) at the Javits Center.
“I tested them here two years ago, and came back now with two more mini-collections to try to expand from our existing [retail] account base,” said Storper, who is a collector of folk art—a major influence on Putumayo’s distinctive CD cover artwork as well as its greeting cards line.
In 2016, then, Putumayo introduced its first greeting cards, including a novel series (World Greeting Cards) offering free musical downloads with each card and featuring the signature folkloric artwork of British illustrator Nicola Heindl, who painted some 200 album covers for Putumayo for over 20 years.
The company also launched the World Photography Greeting Cards collection showcasing the photography of renowned New Orleans photographer Emerson Matabele, whose photos of people and scenes from around the world were accompanied by impactful quotes from philosophers, writers and poets, including Rumi and J.R.R. Tolkein.
This month Putumayo added the two new card collections, one highlighting the work of Louisiana folk artist William Hemmerling, the other Brazilian woodblock print artist Jose Francisco Borges.
The label’s Putumayo Kids children’s product division, meanwhile, has produced a series of cultural coloring books and activity kits. Putumayo has also launched Putumayo World Travel, a music-based collaboration with Cuba tour operator insight Cuba/Masala Expeditions, with forthcoming tours set for Cuba, New Orleans and Peru.
As for New Orleans Party, the compilation includes tracks by New Orleans legends including Dr. John, Dave Bartholomew, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band featuring Duke Dejan. The release also includes a classic New Orleans daiquiri recipe provided by (and featuring) Old New Orleans Rum.
In keeping with Putumayo’s practice of donating to non-profit organizations in the places where the music originates, a portion of the proceeds from all New Orleans Party album sales will benefit the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic.
Started by Storper in 1993 to introduce people to world music, Putumayo was the first company to market international music through a network of boutiques, gift shops, health food stores and other non-traditional/specialty environments.
“We maintain our following of yoga, world and children’s music--and especially New Orleans and American roots music enthusiasts,” said Storper at NSS.