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Rattletree Marimba


Listen to Chikende

Austin, TX based Rattletree Marimba is the culmination of a 20 year journey by founder Joel Laviolette into the heart of traditional Zimbabwean trance music.

Living with his teacher in the high-density suburbs of Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, Joel spent years playing traditional all night 'bira' ceremonies in order to invoke ancestral spirits.

After his return to the US, Joel had a clear vision that it was his duty to continue to spread the richness of this powerful spiritual music while also embracing the connection he has with his home - the modern, the Electronica, Dubstep, Drum and Bass, and trance inducing music that is being created today.

In 2006, Joel moved from New Mexico to Austin, and continued to refine his vision for Rattletree. Now - after almost 10 years, the vision has become a reality:

The ancient: GIANT traditional hand-built marimbas
The modern: Cutting edge DIY MIDI triggering and live video manipulation/projection, ecstatic Contact dance.

Rattletree pushes the Ancient Forward and creates a high-energy ecstatic dance frenzy wherever they perform.

Experience what it feels like to be with your chosen family.

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