In retrospect, Tom Frouge began his music career one Sunday night in 1964 in front of the television watching the Ed Sullivan show. He began his music business career in 1988 as a disc jockey at free-form radio station WPKN-FM in Bridgeport, CT, where he also served as music director for eight years. During his tenure at the station, Tom began working at Green Linnet Records where he served as Director of National Promotion for five years. He also oversaw the label’s Red Bird imprint, which specialized in American Roots music, and was A&R and Project Manager for many of the label’s world music acts on the Xenophile imprint. In 1998 Frouge joined Putumayo World Music as Senior VP of Promotion/Artist Label Manager, moving over to Triloka Records in 2000 as Senior Vice President and General Manager.
Tom has worked in most aspects of the music business (labels, management, promotion & marketing, publishing, record producing, presenting, songwriting). He is Executive Director, Avokado Artists, a 501(c)3, 360°arts organization dedicated to cross-cultural understanding through the arts and the cultivation, promotion, presentation and preservation of culturally significant artists and their work from around the globe. The organization’s activities include artist management, presenting and consultation and is home to, among others, Iraqi-American oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj, who is a NEA 2015 National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient. In 2011 Avokado Artists launched an independent, in-house label (Avokado Artists Recordings), whose debut CD Aam Zameen by Kiran Ahluwalia was honored with a 2012 JUNO Award (Canadian “Grammy”).
Tom is also co-founder, curator and director of ¡Globalquerque! New Mexico’s Annual Celebration of World Music & Culture, a 2013 recipient of the Creative Bravos Award, entering it’s 13th year. He is co-founder and curator of Festival Chispa, presented in partnership with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and entering it's 2nd year. He has been a consultant for a number of music labels and organizations and served for 5 years as Music Liaison for Economic Development, City of Albuquerque. Tom has served on and moderated numerous panels on Radio, Promotion, Marketing, Presenting, Festivals, Economics of Art, Labels and A & R at conferences around the world including WOMEX, APAP and SxSW, and has written articles for various publications including Billboard.com and Gavin. In his spare time he programs three internet radio streams for Slacker.com and hosts a weekly local radio program, The Strange Land, on KUPR-FM in Placitas, NM. A long time political and environmental activist, Tom holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts. Tom is the proud father of and to Talis Chase Frouge and is madly in love with Mexican magical realist artist Jade Leyva, his wife of nearly 7 years.
KUNM Radio Network Administrator & Avokado Artists Board Member
Jonathan started playing traditional American old time music as a young child, went on to study anthropology and dance at Reed College and at University of California at Riverside, completing a BA in anthropology. He completed a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and has worked in the fields of travel, radio production. world music presentations and advanced technology over the past 40 years. He has technical certification with Apple Computer, but an enduring love for traditional music from all parts of the world, which has led to deep involvement with Avokado Artists over the past years, both with presenting and with technology. He is currently system administrator for the KUNM Community Radio computer network.
Artist, Environmentalist & Avokado Artists Board Member
Jade Leyva is painter, potter and more. Hailing from Mexico City, Jade now calls New Mexico her home. Her work is at times whimsical, celebratory and reflective. Her medium is acrylics on masonite and pottery. Her work reflects Her positive hope for the future of the world combining influences from Magical Realism to Pre-Colombian and postmodern. The central themes of her works are: love, unity, and our fragil relationship to Mother Earth.
Leyva has been commissioned to create images for important events as The New Mexico Wine Festival, ¡Globalquerque!, National LULAC Convention and more. Her work has been featured on the covers of many publications and participated in countless collective art exhibits in New Mexico, out of state and in old Mexico.
In 2013 she funded an organization called Seeds: A Collective Voice/Community Seed Mural Project which promotes raising awareness about ancient seed preservation through multimedia arts. She has created several murals created entirely with seeds in which the community of New Mexico have participated. Her project has involved artists from all around the world and continues to grow. She is currently working on new original body of works to be displayed at upcoming art exhibits. To learn more look for her pages on Facebook: Jade Leyva Art and SEEDS: A Collective Voice.
She supports Avokado Artists during all their events including ¡Globalquerque! and Festival Chispa, she has done organizing for ¡Globalqueque! fundraisers and acts as the both festivals' Volunteer Coordinator. She has donated many of her pieces to fundraisers for the festival and helps out with behind the scenes organizing and promotion of all other Avokado Artists events as well.