Taking their name from the word for heart in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, the women-led ensemble OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love.
Following up on their Juno-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning debut release, OKAN’s sophomore album Espiral, which is set for full release in early October. delves deeper into the group's rich Afro-Cuban roots, finding renewed inspiration in this Afro-Latin musical heritage. The Santeria influences are most evident in the title track, Espiral (available as a single July 24th) which uniquely blends guajira, the folk genre of Eastern Cuba, with Santeria-derived chants.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Elizabeth Rodriguez is a classically trained violinist who served as concertmaster for Havana’s Youth Orchestra. Magdelys Savigne hails from Santiago de Cuba and graduated with honours in orchestral percussion from Havana’s University of the Arts. Both are also Grammy-nominees for their contributions to Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, of which they are former members.
OKAN’s performance is co-presented with Lula Music and Arts Centre with support from Ontario Creates. Follow the band, give a tip or pre-save/order the new album at okanmusica.com.