Taking their name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, Juno-Award winning OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love.

Living and collaborating in the intensely multicultural city of Toronto has enriched OKAN’s compositions with influences from Brazil, Spain and New Orleans. Backed by some of Canada's finest jazz and Latin players including Miguel de Armas, Roberto Riveron, Jeremy Ledbetter and Alexis Baro,

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.

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, Juno-winning release Espiral, (Lulaworld Records, 2020)

Earning international acclaim from the likes of OkayAfrica, NPR and Songines, Esprial debuted at the number one position on the !Earshot International charts and was included in CBC Music's top 20 and NPR's top 10 Alt Latino's albums of the year.


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, which uniquely blends guajira, the folk genre of Eastern Cuba, with Santeria-derived chants.

Official showcases at Folk Alliance, Mundial Montreal, Contact East, Ontario Contact and Global Toronto have led to invitations to perform across Canada and the U.S. with stops at The Kortright Centre (Vancouver), The Grand (Calgary), Hermann’s (Victoria), Passim (Boston), Old Town School of Folk (Chicago) as well at the Blue Skies, Toronto Jazz, Nuit D’Afrique, Harrison and Middlebury festivals.

Between OKAN tours to Canada’s East coast and Quebec, bandleaders Elizabeth and Magdelys will be touring with Colombian electro Cumbia stars Bomba Estereo throughout 2022.​


​Elizabeth Rodriguez, violinist and vocalists 

Magdelys Savigne, percussion

With bass, piano and drums (musicians' names to be confirmed).


​2021 - Juno Winner for Global Music Album of The Year

2021 - CFMA Award

2021 - Independent Music Award​