Putumayo will release South Africa, a CD collection that celebrates the rich musical diversity of this unique country at the southern tip of Africa. With the soccer World Cup taking place for the first time on African soil in 2010, international attention will be focused on South Africa and its post-apartheid status as a democracy and economic powerhouse. Over the course of its history, this & Rainbow Nation; with 11 official languages has nurtured many musical styles, including mbaqanga, kwela and township jive, among others. While South Africans have endured many struggles, they have often used music as a tool to protest and to express their hopes for a better future. Putumayo's South Africa CD is a fusion of the traditional and contemporary, with legends like the late singer and political activist Miriam Makeba, who mixed kwela and township jive on & Orlando, a tribute to the Soweto township of the same name. The Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and mbaqanga pioneers Soul Brothers are just two of the internationally renowned groups featured on this collection. On Oxam, Mahube epitomizes the growing pan-African music movement as they effortlessly combine the sounds of artists from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and other African countries. The group features vocalist Phinda, who recently completed a stint in the The Lion King and who also performs solo on Tiki Tiki. As with many of Putumayo's previous collections, South Africa features a recipe by chef Amos Dlamini, of the acclaimed Moyo group of restaurants. A portion of Putumayo's proceeds from the sale of this CD will be donated to Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a non-profit organization working in South Africa to combat HIV/AIDS and advance human rights.
About the Artist
Putumayo World Music was established in 1993 to introduce people to the music of the world's cultures. The label grew out of Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. Co-founder Michael Kraus joined Dan to launch Putumayo World Music and establish a non-traditional sales division. Putumayo World Music 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 Nicola Heindl, whose colorful, folkloric style represents one of Putumayo's goals: to connect the traditional to 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.