Rattletree is a high energy dance and trance band!! We are a six-piece marimba band that plays traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music. This music will make you dance your booty off!! We are based in Austin, TX. Why are we a "jam band"? Because our songs are rooted in traditional Zimbabwean music, we are able to play these songs for up to an hour each-taking us in different directions every day.
Rattletree grew out of the band Common Thread formed by Joel Laviolette and Dan Pauli in Santa Fe in 2002. There have been many members along the way. Joel is now based in Austin, Texas and has formed a six-piece marimba band. What is a marimba?!? Check out the pic's section to see what you've been missing. Also, check out Rattletrees website to see the most recent news, etc. You can always check us out at the First Thursdays on South Congress!!
Joel began studying the mbira in 1995, and those studies took him to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Canada, and back to the US. He formed a record company, Mhumhi Records, in 2001. This was done to promote and support the groups that Joel recorded while in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Profits from those recordings go directly to the musicians involved. If you like any of the music on this page, please consider checking out Mhumhi Records and hearing the roots of this music.