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Singers range, talent provide bridge to variety of cultures
Corinne Oviedo will perform Saturday as part of the Cultural Crossroads concert at The Arts Council complex.

No matter your music preference — bossa nova, jazz, pop or even disco — there will be something for everyone at Saturday’s Cultural Crossroads concert featuring singer Corinne Oviedo.

Oviedo, a singer, songwriter and producer of Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage, will tackle classic songs that range from ballads and blues to hip-hop and pop.

And she has arranged a few tunes to be sung with the Angelic Voices choir from St. John Baptist Church in Gainesville. That is something she has always wanted to do, said Enrique Montiel, chairman of the Gainesville Multicultural Committee, which is holding the event in conjunction with The Arts Council.

"In listening to her work, I noticed there were a couple of gospel songs, or gospel-like songs," he said. "Initially we asked her to come and give a concert in Gainesville, but in listening to her work, I said, would you consider doing this (working with a choir). And immediately she sat down and arranged the songs and talked to the director of the choir here (Crystal Singleton) who was thrilled to have this opportunity."

While Oviedo has accomplished many musical milestones, he said, this will be the first time she will be performing with a choir.

"She actually arranged the songs to be able to sing with Angelic Voices," he said. "This has been her dream for a long time, and I think for the audience it’s going to be something really unique. And she’s singing in all these different languages."

Gladys Wyant, president of The Arts Council, said this concert is one of many pairings The Arts Council has done with the Gainesville Multicultural Committee over the years.

While the committee is mainly known for its annual "Christmas is One Language" concert, she said every so often the opportunity comes up for the two to work together.

The proceeds from Saturday’s performance will benefit The Arts Council’s Arts in Schools program, too, she said.

"We always try to serve as much of the diversity of the community, and this certainly fits in with our mission," she said.

The Multicultural Committee was recently honored by the League of Cities for its "Christmas is One Language" concert. The second-place award, among cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000, was announced Monday at the League of Cities’ annual conference in Washington, D.C.

"It’s what Gainesville tries to be is recognizing the excellence in each group in our community," said mayor Myrtle Figueras, who was in Washington earlier this week to accept the award.

And not only will this weekend’s performance help celebrate that diversity, too, Montiel said, but Oviedo is a fabulous singer to boot.

After hearing her perform in Atlanta, he said, he knew he had to share her talent with Gainesville.

"She is like a bridge across cultures, because of her origin and the way her art goes," he said.

"It’s going to be a concert that you’d hardly see if you went to New York; you can go to a Latin concert, you can go to a classical concert," he said. "But having all of that in one shot, I don’t think you get that very often."