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More About Putumayo and the Artists of Vintage France

Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world’s cultures. The label grew out of the Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. In the past eighteen years, the record label has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company’s motto: “guaranteed to make you feel good!”

Putumayo’s CD covers feature the distinctive art of British illustrator Nicola Heindl, whose colorful, folkloric style represents one of the company’s goals: to connect the traditional and the contemporary. By combining appealing music and visuals with creative retail marketing, Putumayo has developed a unique brand identity, a rarity in today’s artist-based music industry.

Putumayo is considered a pioneer and leader in developing the non-traditional market. A large portion of its target audience consists of “Cultural Creatives,” a sociological term for 50 million North Americans and millions more around the world with an interest in culture, travel and the arts. To reach these consumers, Putumayo has built a proprietary network of more than 3,000 book, gift, clothing, coffee and other specialty retailers in the US and thousands more internationally that play and sell its CDs, in addition to maintaining a strong presence in record stores.

Dan Storper’s vision of establishing a global company and lifestyle brand is being furthered by CD distribution in more than 80 countries. The opening of Putumayo Europe in the Netherlands in 2000 enabled the company to connect with the European music and retail scene. The expansion of Putumayo International has also extended the label’s presence in South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The company now has offices in 10 countries around the world.

The Putumayo Kids division was created to introduce children to other cultures through fun, upbeat world music. Since the release of the best-selling World Playground CD in 1999, Putumayo Kids has become one of the world’s leading children’s record labels, winning critical acclaim and honors from Parents’ Choice Awards and many others. The division is expanding its globally-themed product offerings in 2011 with three fun, educational coloring books and sticker collections with African, Latin American and European themes. With its growing collection of children’s albums and other cultural products, Putumayo Kids endeavors to inspire children’s curiosity about the world.

Putumayo launched the Putumayo World Music Hour in 2000. The first commercially-syndicated world music radio show, it is now heard internationally on more than 150 commercial and non-commercial stations. Periodically, Putumayo presents thematic tours in conjunction with its CD releases. Acoustic Africa, a CD and successful international tour in 2006, returns to 32 cities in North America in 2011. Putumayo Kids has also produced several thematic tours.

The company’s commitment to helping communities in the countries where the music originates has led to the label contributing more than one million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world.

Charitable recipients include Amnesty International, whose 50th anniversary Putumayo is commemorating via a parnership on the new Kids World Party CD, Coffee Kids, Oxfam, Mercy Corps and many more.

As international markets and consumer awareness of world music grow, Putumayo continues to develop creative ways to present exciting, underexposed global music and engaging cultural products. Please visit www.putumayo.comfor more information, news and updates on Putumayo World Music, its releases and events.


Art Mengo

Michel Armengot (born 16 September 1961), more commonly known as Art Mengo, is a French singer and songwriter. Though born in the French city of Toulouse, he is of Spanish descent as his parents had fled from Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

Music initially was a hobby to Mengo as his studies came first. During his university years, Mengo would play piano at a local bar during the evenings. Mengo had purchased an 8 Track recorder, and this would play heavily into his move into the music industry. With Mengo writing the music, and his brother-in-law producing lyrics a considerable inventory of music was created. It was good enough for Mengo to get his first record contract in 1988, shortly thereafter he released his first single, which was a hit on the French Top 50. His music quickly became popular, and by 1992 he was asked to write a song for French superstar Johnny Hallyday. In 1993 he wrote an entire album for German singer Ute Lemper. He performed the song "Parler d'amour" with Ute on this album.

Daniel Roure

ROURE Daniel, born in Marseill, pianist / vocal, composer awards at "Printemps du Jazz" Toulon in 2001 with the CD "le temps d’un jazz" Paul PIOLI on guitar, Francesco CASTELLANI to Trombone, Gilles ALAMEL drums, Fabien GIACCHI on acoustic bass. He performs regularly all over the world, New Caledonia, the United States, Mexico, Europe, cruises and likes to sing and to play jazz standards, with french translation. Piano solo, trio, quartet, quintet, Pianist subtle and elegant, with a swing beyond. The swing generated is exciting and lovely .the next new album with titles borrowed from Nat King Cole, Jean Sablon, Cole Porter, Charles Trenet and many others, in English-French version,will be released soon."FRENCH KISS 2008"

Francesca Blanchard

Francesca Blanchard is a singer-songwriter born and raised in France who traveled the globe with her family before she settled in the small town of Charlotte in beautiful rural Vermont. Her music reflects on her travels, both physical and emotional. Francesca's EP "Songs On An Ovation" features a collection of songs in French and English played on her mother's Ovation guitar.

“Blanchard’s debut EP, Songs on an Ovation, is quietly and profoundly stunning. It is a humble ode to love, heartbreak and home that says more about all three topics in the span of 17 minutes than some songwriters do over entire careers. A remarkable debut.” - Dan Bolles, Seven Days

Jean-Claude and Jean-Yves Laudat Dubanton

In 1994, he met guitarist and singer Jean-Yves Dubanton, his alter-ego.

Together, they reconnect with the tradition of swing-musette and relive the music from the "sacred union" of gypsy guitar and accordion.

Since their debut at Café Bastille, they have lively Parisian landmarks such as the Hotel du Nord, Chez Elle or Little Robinson.

He has participated in group Alma Sinti Patrick SAUSSOIS from 1996 to 2002.

Jean-Claude Laudat to Samois sur Seine in 2002 with Alma Sinti

In March 2004, he toured Chile with journalist and singer Philippe MEYER.

In 2004 and 2005, he went twice on tour in Japan with Jean-Yves Dubanton (NIGAATA Jazz Festival, concerts at Tokyo Blue Drag ...).

In 2005, the meeting with the composer Reinhardt Wagner, specialist film music, enables him to discover the world of cinema. He participated as a musician and actor in film Pascal THOMAS "great apartment."

Currently technical advisor for the upcoming movie musical Christophe BARRATIER (after Les Choristes in 2004), he taught Maxence Perrin who held the role of a child accordionist.
The shooting of "Paris 36" is scheduled for summer 2007.

In 2009, he recorded several shows "Next time, I'll sing" Philippe MEYER on France Inter with the troops of the French Comedy. It will follow a performance on stage at the Studio Theatre of the French Comedy.
Reinhardt Wagner and with the group "The Hands of Men" it runs and saves the soundtrack Pascal THOMAS "Together we will live a great love story."

In September 2009, he was the guest of honor, "thread", Festival Nuits de Nacre Tulle.

Juliette Gréco

Muse to the Parisian literary scene of the '50s, godmother of songwriter-led '60s French pop, and a self-reinventing torch singer from the '70s until now, Juliette Gréco is one of the great French recording artists of the 20th century. Born in Montpellier in 1929, Gréco was classically trained at the Paris Opera as a youngster. Forced to flee Paris at the outbreak of the Second World War, and practically orphaned when her mother was jailed for her resistance to the Nazis in 1943, Gréco then sought refuge with her former French teacher in the St. Germain des Prés quarter of Paris.

In the later years of the war, the literary and artistic world of the Left Bank was flourishing, and Gréco became a fixture in this world, befriending Sartre and other writers of renown, and appearing in the theater and on a literary radio show. Her experiences of hardship in the war had influenced her politics and sowed the seeds for the great liberation she flaunted after the war, becoming the pinup for the so-called bohemian scene.

Gréco made an acclaimed debut as a singer in 1949, premiering songs with the words of such leading French poets as Jacques Prévert ("Les Feuilles Mortes"), Jules Laforgue ("L'Eternel Féminin"), and Raymond Queneau ("Si Tu T'Imagines") set to music by Joseph Kosma. In the new postwar songs, lyrics were privileged over the bigger orchestrations favored by singers like Edith Piaf; Gréco's intellectual bent made her the perfect interpreter for this new movement. Her singing style shared the dramatic enunciation of Jacques Brel and the droll delivery of Georges Brassens, her contemporaries in quite different musical scenes, while showcasing a sensuality all her own. Gréco released the song "Je Suis Qui Je Suis," again with words by Prévert and music by Kosma, two years later -- it was a huge hit for her.

Having toured Brazil and the United States, Gréco returned to Paris in 1954 to triumph at the Olympia hall with the song "Je Hais les Dimanches," written by a young Charles Aznavour. Devoting most of the rest of the decade to a successful film career in the United States, Gréco returned to Paris in 1959 and began a second phase of her musical career as the patron of a new French generation of songwriters in the early '60s. She collaborated with artists like Serge Gainsbourg, who wrote "La Javanaise" for her, as well as Léo Ferré and Guy Béart. In 1968, now massively famous from high-profile television appearances and her earlier recordings, she released her song "Deshabillez-Moi," which was an openly sexual piece and marked a change from the intellectual, literary slant she had always put on her songs.

After a slight stalling of her recording career in the early '70s due to trouble with record companies, Gréco embarked on a third stage in her career in 1975, collaborating closely with Gérard Jouannest, the former pianist for Jacques Brel, who set many of the texts written for her to music henceforth. She married him in 1989. Further releases in the '80s ("Gréco '83") and '90s (the beautiful "Juliette Gréco") saw her experimenting still, as well as promoting new songwriters like Etienne Roda-Gil and Caetano Veloso. She released "Un Jour d'Été et Quelques Nuits" in 1998, and in 2004 her album Aimez-Vous les Uns les Autres ou Bien Disparaissez was a true return to form, featuring collaborations with young artists Miossec and Benjamin Biolay. The album Le Temps d'une Chanson was released in 2006, and Qu'on Est Bien: La Valse Brune arrived two years late.

Madeleine Peyroux

Madeleine Peyroux [pronounced like the country Peru] was born in Athens, Georgia, she grew up between Brooklyn, Southern California and Paris, though it was in the City of Light where she found her voice. As a teen she was drawn to street music, and in 1989 she started to perform with a group of buskers. She then joined the Lost Wandering Blues & Jazz Band, becoming the only female in the group, which toured around Europe for several years.

Madeleine burst onto the recording scene in 1996, with her stunning debut album Dreamland. Madeleine was greeted with a veritable torrent of gushing reviews. Most raved about her smoke-and-whiskey vocals, often comparing her to the late, great Billie Holiday. Others wondered how someone so young could perform classic songs by Holiday, Bessie Smith and Patsy Cline so convincingly as to make them sound like her own. Time magazine pronounced the groundbreaking Dreamland "the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year."

Madeleine, then an American who had been living in Paris as a street musician, suddenly found herself on the fast track to fame. Appearances at Lilith Fair and jazz festivals, and opening tours for Sarah McLachlan and Cesaria Evora followed, while Dreamland's sales reached an impressive 200,000 copies worldwide. "It was great," recalls Madeleine. "I got to perform with fantastic musicians. I got to see Nina Simone live. I could've kept running with it, but instead I stepped back and took a breather."

Careless Love on Rounder Records released in Sept. 2004, eight years after the release of Dreamland. Waiting that long to release her sophomore album is admittedly not a typical career move, but then Madeleine is not a typical artist.

Careless Love, produced by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin), will features songs as old as W. C. Handy's bluesy title track, popularized by Bessie Smith in the late 1920s, and others as recent as Elliott Smith's folky "Between the Bars." Madeleine also covers material as diverse as Hank Williams' "Weary Blues" and Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love."

Madeleine spent much of the time between Dreamland and Careless Love out of the public eye. But she never stopped singing, returning to her busking roots with street performances and club dates around the world from Los Angeles (to New Orleans to New York City) to Western Europe before being signed by Rounder Records in 2003.

Careless Love was a worldwide sales and critical success, putting Madeleine back on fame's fast track.

Madeleine's followed up Careless Love with Half the Perfect World, released Sept. 2006, again pairing Madeleine and producer Larry Klein. Half the Perfect World builds on and expands on the direction set with Careless Love, featuring a broad range of songwriters include Madeleine herself.

Martijn Luttmer

Harmonica player Martijn Luttmer was born om 11 February 1971 in Bussum, The Netherlands. On his fourth birthday, he got his first harmonica. Martijn really got fascinated by the bluesharp during a holiday in France. He spent many hours of playing, together with his classmate Rudolf Haak and his father Jaques Haak. Playing the bluesharp is quite simple: you can blow or inhale and you will get a sound! But most harmonica players will not pass the stage of the bluesharp…

At the age of nine, Martijn heard about Toots Thielemans. After buying the first record “Slow Motion”, he discovered that the harmonica of Toots harmonica had many more possibilities than a blues harp. That was the moment Martijn fell in love with the chromatic harmonica. This instrument can reach all notes; the white and black keys of the piano. Every day at least one and a half hours were spent to play along with the records of Toots Thielemans. The harmonica became an obsession.

When Martijn was about 18 years old, he was “adopted” by guitar player Rein Solkamans and by drummer Han Brink. They gave instructions and tips on how to develop the Martijn sound as you can hear it today. Over the years Martijn was introduced to, and played with the Dutch stars of jazz, such as Cees Slinger, Harry Verbeke, Bart van Lier, Henk Meutgeert, Frits Landesbergen, Edwin Corzilius and Denise Jannah.

Concert have been given from Australia to the United States and many countries in between.

Norbert Slama

This SACEM ( ASCAP) composer and world- class performer has delighted audiences in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States. His masterful renditions of Jazz, Standars, autenthic French Musette, Classical, Pop and legitimate Show tunes on the accordion and piano has earned Norbert Slama the personal admiration and invitations of celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor,Chuck Mangione,Aristotle Onasis, Pablo Picasso, Edith Piaf,Walter Mondale, Eva Gabor, Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, Johnny Weissmuller, Enrico Crolla, John Roosevelt. He even composed the theme song for the Middle-East peace talks entitled "Shalom/Salaam" in the 1980's.

Patrick Nugier

Born in paris on July 17th. At the age of 4, he started classic piano. When he was 16 years old,he got an awards of piano. And not only he has learned to play piano,but also flute,trampet and accordion.

He was theatre cordinate of " Club Med " in france, Spain and Bahama since 1975. He became manager of hotel vittel since 1985. And at same time, he was band reader of Jazz band. He has played all around the " Club Med " . He compose song and write rylic for TV CM. He sing Chanson with accordion in live,concert and dinner show a huge success.

Raphaël Bas

Guitarist and harmonica player Raphael Bas has been composing music and performing since junior high school. He grew up in Bourges, France where over the years he was exposed to a wide variety of music and artistic styles performed by world class musicians at the renown Printemps de Bourges music festival. This is in fact where Raphael first performed on an international stage, right there at home, at the age of 15.

It is clear his major musical influences are Django Reinhardt, Manitas De Plata and Paco De Lucia, but he is also influenced by Gus Viseur's and Jo Privat's swing and musette style. Since emigrating to the United States almost two decades ago, he has played many styles including blues, Flamenco, funk, reggae, and other types of jazz. Raphael once backed former Big Brother and the Holding Company guitarist Sam Andrew.

These influences are also present in his music, particularly in the intricately interwoven guitar parts he plays. Regardless of whether he is playing solo or backing other band members, Raphael does not just follow the more traditional approach of playing block chords behind the soloist, he stands out from the crowd.

Raphael has performed internationally as a single act, as a duo and with full ensembles for a six month period across Australia, in the UK where he resided for over two years, France and across the US touring with different artists and bands.

Raphael currently lives and works in New Orleans where he has returned to pursue his musical quest, playing French gypsy swing while incorporating the sound of New Orleans Trad Jazz into his repertoire. He co-founded and performed with the award winning band Vavavoom which emerged from returning musicians eager to help bring back the vibrant life and sound of the Big Easy after Hurricane Katrina. During his tenure with Vavavoom they recorded two successful CDs, one of which was voted one of the best albums of the decade by the famous New Orleans based radio station WWOZ 90.7 FM.

Performing in New Orleans, Raphael has had the opportunity to work with many noted bands and musicians including the Jazz Vipers, Don Vappie, the Tremé Brass Band to name a few. He is currently performing in and around New Orleans with Zazou City, under his own name and with other local musicians including the world renown accordionist, Norbert Slama. They teamed up two years ago to perform traditional French Musette and Gypsy Jazz (or “Manouche“) repertoire.

Raphael's latest work, titled Harmonouche, is a CD mixing the jazz diatonic harmonica, played on the rack, with more traditional Jazz instruments, culminating in a unique concept rich in sound. These recordings, funded the Louisiana Economy and Cultural Foundation, bridge two important musical genres: Trad Jazz and European Swing.