About The Event
Primarily seen as an Afro-Cuban jazz group, Toronto-based OKAN is a woman-led ensemble that beautifully integrates jazz, Latin, folk, and global rhythms. Their roots are deep, yet the music they make is contemporary, exciting and very sophisticated. The core members of the band, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne, were born and raised in Cuba and had an excellent musical education. Elizabeth is a classically trained violinist who was concertmaster for Havana’s Youth Orchestra. Magdelys graduated with honours in orchestral percussion from Havana’s University of the Arts. Both women are Grammy-nominated for their contributions to Jane Bunnett’s esteemed band Maqueque – which they left in 2018 to form their own group. Taking its name from the word for heart or soul in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, OKAN seems to have been blessed from the start: their debut CD, Sombras, was Juno-nominated in 2020 for World Music Album, while its even more accomplished follow-up, Espiral, won in the same category in 2021.
Their music is an intoxicating blend of various Cuban styles (danzón, Afro-Cuban chants and beats, bolero, and a type of country music known as guajiri) with jazz fusion, Dominican merengue, and Brazilian samba. It is hard to over-praise the variety and technical brilliance of Elizabeth’s violin work, while Magdelys’s drumming and percussion are stellar. And both women are marvelous singers. The songs themselves – from heartfelt originals about immigration and the pain of leaving Cuba to romantic classics such as “Besame Mucho” – are effortlessly engaging. But it is during their energetic, rhythmically charged performances that OKAN becomes truly electrifying – no wonder they’ve delighted audiences all over North America. “OKAN craft jazzy, heady grooves informed by Afro-Cuban culture and a world of sound,” according to the Chicago Reader, while CBC Music praises them for “pushing Latin jazz into new and unexpected territories.” This is a must-see performance.
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In Person or via Phone
Tickets can be purchased at the Art Gallery of Golden’s Box Office or purchase by phone by calling (250) 344-6186
Early Bird Members (only 50 tickets available) $15
Member’s Regular $20
At the Door
Underemployed: Pay What You Can (if show is not sold out)
Students always $5
Kicking Horse Culture presents about four dozen cultural events and activities throughout the year in Golden, B.C., the traditional unceded territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc Nations which is also home to Métis Nation Columbia River.