Independent Music Award Winners in Jazz & World Music Categories and Rising Star Stingray Award Winners. Taking its name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban and other global rhythms with jazz, folk and classical forms.
Embracing genres and roles that have historically been dominated by men, co-leaders, composers and multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne bring a fresh perspective to Latin and world jazz fusion through their powerful vocals, incredible musicianship and potent lyrical content.
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 JUNO-nominees for their work with Battle of Santiago and Grammy-nominees and JUNO winners for their contributions to Jane Bunnett and Maqueque of which they are former members.
Living and collaborating in the intensely multicultural city of Toronto has enriched OKAN’s compositions with influences from Brazil, Spain and New Orleans. Having performed at the Beaches, Toronto and Markham Jazz Festivals as well as Harbourfront, Lulaworld Kultrun and the National Arts Centre, OKAN will tour Canada and the U.S. in 2019/20.
Backed by some of the Canada’s finest jazz and Latin players such as Miguel de Armas, Roberto Riveron, Frank Martinez, Bill King, Danae Olano, Jeremy Ledbetter and with ample experience on both large and intimate stages, OKAN usually performs as a Quintet.