Taking their name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, Juno-ward winning OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love. 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.
Having recently worked with Bomba Estereo, Lido Pimienta, Dayme Arocena and Telmary Diaz, OKAN has followed up on their Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award-nominated and Independent Music Award-winning debut album Sombras, with their sophomore release Espiral, (Lulaworld Records, 2020).
Called "lush and vibrant, urgent but specific and deeply intentional" by CBC Music, Espiral delves deeper into the group's rich Cuban roots, finding renewed inspiration in this powerful musical heritage. The Santeria influences are most evident in the title track, Espiral, which uniquely blends guajira, the folk genre of Eastern Cuba, with Santeria-derived chants.
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