Jaci V. Captures a Dove and Other GMA Latin Highlights

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Jaci Velasquez was honored with a Dove Award in the “Spanish Language Album Of The Year” category for “Mi Corazon” by Jaci Velasquez, produced by Emilio Estefan, Jr., Rudy Perez, Mark Heimermann, Alberto Gaitin, Ricardo Gaitin, Alejandro Jean, Freddy Pinero, Jr., Lewis Martinee, Jose Miguel Velasquez; Word.
After winning the award, Jaci was escorted down to the press room backstage where she told the media, “My heart is with my people. The Latin people have the best hearts,
the best souls. My heart is with the Latin people.”
She also shared that she is soon going on a missions trip to Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, with radio station KSBJ, and laughingly said, “This is my first missions trip; what do I wear?”

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But the lovely Miss Velasquez was not the only noteable Latin performer at GMA this year. The first Latin performer I was ever aware of in contemporary Christian musis was Patty Cabrerra, and it was good to see her back at GMA Week, this time on her own label. Patty appeared on the Brian Mason Show on Sunday morning to kick GMA Week off and finshed up the week at the Dove Awards.

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Before the Word Extravaganza Monday night, I met a table full of Latin talent at San Antonio Taco Company when I ran into publicist Lynn McCain and her Latino posse featuring Freddie
Colloca, Ileana Garces and assorted amigos. I was already scheduled to interview Ileana and Freddie the next day, so it was a pleasant coincidence to make their acquaintance a day early.

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Also making their presence known at GMA Week was the group Salvador who performed at the Word Showcase on Monday night.
Salvador got the night off to a rockin’ start with a couple of spicy numbers that had
people on their feet and clapping
to the beat.
Tuesday morning I found Ileana relaxing in the McCain suite and was able to spend an enjoyable 45 minutes
learning all about the new Latin artist from Miami who at 22 is working on her
sophomore release. Besides being a talented artist, Ileana comes from an
unconventional family which has given her a quirky sense of humor… such as telling
the unsuspecting journalist about her fictitious experiences in jail!

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Between such
humor highlights Ileana poured out the heart God has given her to minister to hurting
women and her zeal to take a stand for Christ. “If I don’t stand for anything, I can fall
for anything,” she told me.
Ileana made some comments to the press room during the Doves Awards talking about how it felt to be nominated for major awards both here and in Brazil where she was nominated for Best International Artist of the Year.

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align=left> Next up was Freddie Colloca. While Ileana was embellishing her
“criminal” past, Freddie was waiting for me in a nearby room with his drummer,
Benjamin, so I left Ileana snickering about her next evil joke while I hurried to meet
Freddie. Freddie was low-key and yet passionate about his music and his ministry.
Growing up in a Christian home, Freddie made several decisions growing up to
follow Christ and later to serve Him more. “I am not satisfied with that,” he shared. “I
want to get closer to God.” He is also dissatisfied with the media hype that often
compares him with Ricky Martin. “There are similarities in our music but not our
message,” he says adadmantly.
Freddie also made an appearance at the Doves and commented on the growth of Latin music in the CCM industry.

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Wednesday morning arrived wet and windy as a dark sky and pelting rain caused me
to make a mad dash from the
garage to the hotel for my interview with Pele’s wife, Assiria, from Brazil “My music
style is a mixture of traditional
and contemporary,” the petite blond told me. Assiria has already released two projects
in Brazil in the Portuguese
language, one album just of hymns. Now she is working on her first English release
to combine some hymns from
her hymns album with some Christian pop with the help of writers including Chris
Rodriguez, Bryan Duncan, Chris
Eaton, among others.Educated during her college years in the U.S., Assiria should
have no trouble communicating with her new fans in the U.S.

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As I walked Assiria to the hotel lobby we passed a huge poster of the Katinas near the escalator. “Oh, the Katinas!” she exclaimed. “I love the Katinas! I love their music! They are from Hawaii, yes?” I told her they were from Samoa and that they were favorite of mine, too. And then a few minutes later I ran into the Katinas and were able to pass along her comments.

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Another artist I ran into several times who has done a Spanish language project or two was Crystal Lewis.
More Dove photos, quotes and comments at
href=”https://www.christianactivities.com/gma/story.asp?ID=2198″>Bird of a
Different Feather
Backstage at
the 2002 Dove Award s
More GMA Journal and GMA Updates at:Gospel Music Week
Special thanks to Kristie Torres for her help uploading photos.


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