If you’d like to get into world music but simply don’t know where to begin, Putumayo is a fantastic label to get started with. The company has albums available from different places and cultures all around the world, and every CD is a compilation of several artists so you get a taste of different flavors and sounds. It’s like a tasting menu for your ears!
The latest Putumayo album out, for example, is Latin Party. This one will be a hit for your summer shindigs coming up. It’s also a great workout mix. Considered one of the most diverse Latin music albums available, it includes cumbia, salsa, ska, boogaloo, son, funk, and other styles of music with several rising stars, paying “homage to Latin music’s past while creatively moving it into the 21st century.” In one sentence, this album will get you moving!
Dozens of other albums are available. If you’re having a theme party, like a tropical getaway or an elegant night in Paris, chances are Putumayo will be able to provide your perfect soundtrack. New Orleans Brass will take care of your Madri Gras needs, while Americana and American Folk are perfect for your Independence Day barbecue. There are Celtic albums, Caribbean playlists, and half a dozen Latin compilations. European grooves, Brazilian beats, and African treats all have their own albums. There are other albums specific by country as well, including Israel, the South Pacific, and more. General songs of the world make up several albums as well.
And if all of these weren’t enough, there are my favorites—the Putumayo Playground albums! These are how I discovered the Putumayo world in the first place. I was searching for some world music for my child when I ran across Brazilian Playground. What an incredibly fun compilation it is! We had to purchase it. Since then, we’ve checked out several other collections and have found them all to be just as inspiring and exciting as the last. For kiddos, you’ll not only find playgrounds in the Carribean, Hawaii, Asia, Africa, Celtic Dreamland, and more—you’ll also find other fun themes, such as Animal, Picnic, and more. There’s even a Sesame Street collection!
The beauty of Putumayo is that you can use it to sample as many cultures and sounds as you like. If you find something you don’t like (which we have yet to do in our house!), you can simply move on to the next album. See if your library has it and you’re set to explore the world for free.