During February and March, the Living Arts Centre (LAC) continues its Hot Havana Nights! series with more Cuban musicians of the highest calibre, including Okan, Yaíma Sáez Y Su Grupo, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba and Arturo Sandoval.
Okan – Feb. 22
Escape the harsh Canadian cold with Okan, a powerhouse women-led band living and collaborating in Toronto.
“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,” says J. Ortega of Lula Lounge.
Born in Havana, Cuba, Elizabeth Rodriguez is a classically trained violinist and served as concertmaster for Havana’s Youth Orchestra and she has worked extensively with Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated ensemble, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque. Drummer/percussionist Magdelys Savigne from Santiago de Cuba graduated has garnered a Juno Award and a Grammy nomination while working with Jane Bunnett and Maqueque. She is also an integral part of The Battle of Santiago and Bill King’s Rhythm Express. The diverse backgrounds and cultures of the band members add spice to their compositions and performances alongside other award-winning artists and bands.
Yaima Saez Y Su Grupo and Jane Bunnett and Maqueque – Feb. 23
Two fierce Cuban acts turn up the heat. Yaíma Sàez provides a vibrant and unique contemporary perspective, effortlessly transcending all musical genres while paying homage to her Indigenous Cuban roots. Next in the lineup is four-time Juno Award-winner, two-time Grammy nominee and celebrated Canadian soprano saxophonist, Jane Bunnett, with her new sextet, Maqueque. In this captivating collaboration, Bunnett introduces the world to some of Cuba’s finest female musicians in a clave-induced set of Afro-Cuban, booty-shaking world jazz.
Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba, Made In Cuba – Feb. 28
Warming our spirits in the heart of winter, Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba is back in Canada. The internationally acclaimed company brings 17 female dancers and eight musicians and singers to the stage. Described as a sensual mix of fire and spice, Made in Cuba is an artistically flamboyant, musically fulfilling love story. Journey into the midst of Cuban life with this colourful combination of flamenco, ballet, contemporary dance, and Spanish and Afro-Cuban rhythms.
Arturo Sandoval – March 22
Ten-time Grammy-winning jazz icon, six-time Billboard Award winner and Emmy Award recipient, Arturo Sandoval, is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time. His struggles while in Cuba have given him more energy and strength to accomplish and surpass his childhood dreams and he desires nothing more than to share his gift with others who feel the same intense adoration for music as he does.
Anyone who purchases a ticket to any of the above shows is automatically entered to win an all-inclusive Cuban vacation, courtesy of Hola Sun Holidays and Cuba Travels. Purchase tickets to two or more of the LAC Hot Havana Nights! shows for an even higher chance of winning. Buy tickets to three Hot Havana Nights! shows and save 10 per cent.