“Rodriquez & Savigne hit the refresh button and blend the swing of jazz, the classic Hot Club violin stylings of Stephane Grappelli, Cuban and Mexican rhythms, into music of great sophistication and style. They move from fusion jazz, classic Cuban, roots Mexican with jazz swing, to a delightful originals by the two, rich in passion and harmonic invention. It’s that marriage of voices – the ease at which both Rodriquez and Savigne can sing the most complex lines in simpatico and seamlessly traverse the landscape. There are moments of breathtaking intensity and resolve.”
Bill King | CFRB
Blending jazz, Afro-Cuban, and global rhythms, OKAN takes inspiration from the roots of Cuban music and contributes to the contemporary evolution of these powerful styles. Embracing musical traditions that historically have been dominated by men, co-leaders Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne share lead vocals, and are the core composers and multi-instrumentalists who bring a fresh perspective to this Latin and world jazz fusion through their powerful lyrics and incredible musicianship.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Elizabeth Rodriguez is a classically trained violinist and hailing from Santiago de Cuba, drummer/percussionist Magdelys Savigne graduated with honours in orchestral percussion from Havana’s University of the Arts. Both are Juno winners as well as Grammy & Cubadiscos nominees for their work with the group Jane Bunnett & Maqueque, of which they are former members.
OKAN’s busy 2018 season included stops at Kultrun, Lulaworld and Toronto Jazz Festivals as well as The Mississauga Living Arts Centre and The National Arts Centre. OKAN will showcase at Mundial Montreal in November and tour Western Canada, as a quartet, in 2019-2020 under the auspices of Prairie Debut.
In the Afro-Cuban religion Santeria, the word OKAN means heart & soul.
PHOTO CREDIT | Ksenjia Hotic
“One of the most exciting Cuban projects to have emerged out of the Toronto Latin scene, OKAN brings powerful vocals and high-level musicianship to their fusion of traditional rhythms, jazz and soul. Backed by some of the country’s top players, OKAN’S charismatic leaders, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne are ready to take their project to the international stage.”
Jose Ortega | Lula Lounge Toronto