Canadian Opera Company presents

Espiral by OKAN

Women-led Afro-Cuban Roots & Jazz

Taking their name from the word for “heart” in the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, the women-led ensemble OKAN fuses Afro-Cuban roots with jazz, folk and global rhythms in songs about immigration, courage and love.

Having received JUNO, Canadian Folk Music, and Independent Music Award nominations for their debut album Sombras, OKAN’s sophomore offering, Espiral delves deeper into the group’s rich Cuban roots, finding renewed inspiration in that musical heritage.

Espiral delves deeper into the group’s rich Cuban roots, finding renewed inspiration in this rich 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.

In this concert, OKAN performs selections from Espiral, their 2021 Juno Award-winning album, fusing jazz, folk, and global rhythms with Afro-Cuban roots. It’s a performance that draws upon a multiplicity of musical influences and the multicultural mosaic of Toronto.

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. Both are also Grammy-nominees for their contributions to Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, of which they are former members.

“OKAN‘s vocal- and percussion-driven tracks evoke their homeland yet also reflect the vibrant Cuban-Canadian community.” 
— NOW Magazine

Elizabeth Rodriguez, vocals/violin
Magdelys Savigne, vocals/percussion
Jeremy Ledbetter, piano
Roberto Mederos, bass
Frank Nodarse, drums

Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 7:30 pm ET

To enjoy this free streaming event, visit:

Canadian Opera Company
Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The company enjoys an international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation. The company presents six fully-staged productions at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts annually.

The COC’s repertoire spans the history of opera from the baroque to the 21st century and includes several commissioned works and Canadian premieres. Professional opera artists from all over the world are engaged for COC productions, including a significant number of Canadian singers, directors, conductors and designers.  The company performs with its own professional Chorus and Orchestra.  The company also fosters emerging Canadian talent through its Ensemble Studio, Orchestra Academy and Company-in-Residence programs.

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