By Angela Carrone for KPBS

The Joe and Vi Jacobs Center is a fitting venue for the Soweto Gospel Choir to perform its mix of African gospel, spirituals, reggae and American pop music. The diverse area surrounding the center, which is east of downtown, is home to more than 12 different cultures.

The two-time Grammy winning choir from the Soweto area of Johannesburg, South Africa has performed all over the world. They’ve shared the stage with U2’s Bono, Peter Gabriel, and even former president Bill Clinton, at a Nelson Mandela tribute concert in New York City in 2014.

Known for energetic performances with dancing and clapping, the choir sings in eight different languages, including English. They dress in bold colors and traditional outfits from their country. The 20-plus member choir will perform their twist on holiday classics and sing songs from their album and standard repertoire.

The Soweto Gospel Choir will perform for one night only, Sunday, Dec. 20 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Proceeds from ticket sales will support future cultural events in the Diamond neighborhoods, named for the diamond-shaped improvement district anchoring the communities. The area encompasses more than 88,000 residents and includes the communities of Chollas View, Emerald Hills, Lincoln Park, Mountain View, Mount Hope, North Encanto, Oak Park, South Encanto, Valencia Park and Webster.

 

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