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Bebel Gilberto lends voice to book, animated film

NEW YORK (AP) — Bebel Gilberto is famous for singing Brazilian jazz and bossa nova tunes, but now, she’s using her voice for different kinds of entertainment.

Gilberto recently narrated a children’s storybook-music CD and is the voice of a character in a new animated movie.

“This was the year of the voiceovers,” said Gilberto in a recent interview.

The 44-year-old was just one of the voices involved with the book “Swing Cafe,” released in September. Written by award-winning author Carl Norac, the book follows Zaz, a little Brazilian cricket that dreams of singing in New York.

“When I was invited ... I said yes immediately,” said Gilberto, who narrates the book along with Canadian actor David Francis. It includes classic recordings by jazz and swing legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and Lionel Hampton.

“The whole process was very, very nice,” said the New York-born daughter of Brazilian stars Joao Gilberto and Miucha.

It was after she did her book narration that she was cast in the movie “Rio,” directed by fellow countryman Carlos Saldanha (“Ice Age,” “Robots”).

“Rio” is about Rio de Janeiro and its people, but also about two birds that fly to that colorful South American city to see how it is.

“I do the voice of a tucan,” she said. “It was really, really amazing.” Although she hasn’t seen the finished film, the scenes she saw made her think that the filmmakers portrayed Rio “very, very well, it’s beautiful.”

Gilberto’s last album, “All in One,” was released in 2009.

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Online:

http://www.bebelgilberto.com/

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