Juno-nominated ensemble OKAN releases sophomore album Espiral

Juno-nominated Latin jazz group OKAN has just released their second full-length album titled Espiral.

Filled with heritage, storytelling and spirituality, Espiral delves deeper into the Cuban roots of the Toronto ensemble’s co-leaders Elizabeth Rodriguez and Magdelys Savigne while incorporating jazz, folk and global rhythms.

“The title track, Espiral, is an arrangement that we did of an Afro-Cuban chant we first heard in December of 2018. It’s not as well-known as many chants and comes from the Arará sect (or denomination or tribal tradition) of the Santeria religion, as opposed to the Lucumi sect of the religion,” OKAN says. “We then decided to mix this Afro-Cuban chant with another genre called guajira from the Eastern countryside of Cuba. This hasn’t been done before, or at least we don’t know of.”

The new album features contributions by leading Cuban-Canadian musicians Telmary Diaz, Miguel de Armas, Hilario Durán, Roberto Riveron, Alexis Baro, Frank Martinez and Pablosky Rosales.

Released on Oct. 9, Espiral arrives just a year after OKAN shared their debut record Sombras, which was a 2020 Juno nominee for world music album of the year.

You can find Espiral on Bandcamp.