Taking their name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, bravery and love.
Embracing genres that have not historically fostered women artists outside of the role of singer, OKAN co-leaders, composers and multi-instrumentalists Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne bring a fresh perspective to Latin and world jazz fusion through their powerful harmonies, incredible musicianship and potent lyrical content.
Winners of a Stingray Rising Stars Award, OKAN’s debut EP Laberinto earned independent music awards in both the world music and jazz categories. Their JUNO-nominated album Sombras was followed by another full length CD, entitled Espiral, in October 2020.
Previous touring activity has taken them across Canada and the U.S. with stops at Sunfest, Harrison and Middlebury festivals as well as Passim in Boston, Old Town School of Folk in Chicago and Hermann’s jazz in Vancouver.
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.