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Tuesday, February 17, 2004

'Musical Nomad,' Nepali Folk Legend Come to SU March 3

SALISBURY, MD---Nepalese folk music legend Prem Raja Mahat teams with Putumayo World Music founder Dan Storper to present music from around the world 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center at Salisbury University. Described as being “to Nepal what John Denver is to the Rocky Mountains,” Mahat has produced 46 albums. He immigrated to America seven years ago to find a less-oppressive way of life for his wife and four young children. Today he is a restaurant manager in Baltimore while continuing to compose and sing, making about three times what he did as Nepal’s most famous musical artist. Storper has been featuring artists like Mahat on his Putumayo recording label since 1993. Credited with popularizing world music in America, Storper has seen the results of his work appear almost daily in television commercials and film soundtracks. His label features 20 albums that have sold more than 100,000 copies.  “The Musical Nomad,” as he is known, Storper majored in Latin American studies at Washington University in St. Louis, afterward heading to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia where he fell in love with Latin cultures. Named after a river valley in Colombia, Putumayo began as a small New York retail store in 1975. Storper filled the shop with handicrafts and clothing he had collected during his travels in Latin America. In 1982, he expanded to design ethnic-inspired contemporary clothing, supplying 600 outlets. By 1985, Putumayo had three successful New York stores patronized by clients such as Greta Garbo, Jane Fonda and Mia Farrow. Selling the stores in 1997 allowed him to focus on music. Since then, he has released more than 100 albums and established industry trends such as marketing music in such non-traditional venues as coffee shops, health food stores, bookstores and gift shops. He also co-hosts the Putumaya World Music Hour, the first syndicated world music show, which is heard on 12 international radio stations and 120 in the United States, including WESM. The Office of Cultural Affairs and Museum Programs hosts the March 3 event at SU. Admission is free and the public is cordially invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.

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