Just as traveling to Cuba is making its comeback in 2018, insightCuba and world-famous record label Putumayo World Music have created a never-been-done-before series of musical expeditions mirroring Putumayo’s extensive world music album collection. Tour destinations for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 include Cuba, New Orleans, and Peru with Colombia and additional locations in the works. In addition to private meet-and-greets and performances with the artists that listeners have adored for 25 years, Putumayo’s own Jacob Edgar, the person responsible for combing the world and sourcing the music for more than 200 Putumayo collections, will be accompanying each trip and sharing his incredible insight and relationships with participants.
Details for each six- to eight-day adventure have been meticulously curated and planned by Putumayo Founder and CEO Dan Storper and Tom Popper, President of insightCuba and Masala Expeditions. “This collaboration delivers experiences that any music and culture lover will relish,” said Popper. “The depth of expertise fostering intimate meet and greets in addition to the sampling of food and art truly makes these programs extraordinary.”
Cuba has been a longtime inspiration for Putumayo, whose Cuban music collection has sold more than half a million copies, so, it’s only appropriate that the first destination in the series is Putumayo Cuba! Cuba! (6 days / 5 nights, starting at $4,395 per person), named after last year’s CD release. Departing November 6, 2018, highlights of the Havana-based trip include private meet-and-greets and performances with musicians including Alberto Faya, Clave del Sol, Habana Compas Dance company, and more. Guests will also experience an array of people-to-people activities including dance lessons, a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s home and tour of EGREM’s famous Areito Studios, where the Buena Vista Social Club was recorded. For participants looking to see more of the island country, a two-day extension visiting Playa Larga, Cienfuegos and Trinidad is on offer (from $1,855 per person).
The second trip in the series, departing March 20, 2019, is Putumayo New Orleans (6 days / 5 nights, starting at $4,785 per person). Taking travelers on a deep dive into the city’s rich musical heritage, The Big Easy will be showcased in a way few have seen before. Local resident Storper along with ethnomusicologist Edgar will put the birthplace of jazz on full display via private performances with the likes of legendary trumpet player Greg Stafford, a visit to legendary Preservation Hall, and a paddlewheel sailing on the Mississippi River with a Jazz Band. As music and food are intertwined in NOLA, all will enjoy a crawfish boil with the famous Treme Brass Band, a dinner at the famed Antoine’s, and evening pub crawls.
Putumayo Peru (8 days / 7 nights, from $4,995 per person), departing May 23, 2019, will be lead by Edgar and local musical expert Alvaro Fernández who will introduce participants to their favorite historical, creative, culinary, and, of course, musical hotspots. Starting in Lima, travelers will enjoy exclusive performances and meet-and-greets with some of the country's most important musicians like Susana Baca, Lucho Quequezana and Novalima, and discover the vibrant rhythms and enchanting melodies of the Andean and Afro-Peruvian sounds that make up Peru's eclectic musical landscape. Along the way, guests will see Lima's impressive architecture, archeology and arts up close and explore the country’s distinctive cuisine though a hands-on ceviche cooking class. The finale of the adventure will be a visit to Cusco and a scenic train journey to the legendary lost city of Machu Picchu.