For El Tule, making music is something of a family affair. In 2003, guitarist Bobby “Miklo” Baca moved to Austin and looked to put together a band. Interestingly enough, he turned to his in-laws, recruiting brother-in-law John Dell to serve as the band’s frontman and sister-in-law Tracy Chavez Dell to serve as the bassist. That year, El Tule formed, naming themselves after a centuries-old tree in Oaxaca, Mexico that for many symbolizes the strong roots of Latin culture.
Fittingly, El Tule’s music is an extension of these strong Latin roots. The band–which also includes a full horn and percussion section–incorporates a mix of dance elements from across the Latin American world: cumbia, merengue, salsa, Cuban, and reggae all find their way into El Tule’s songs, as do traces of psychedelic rock. For El Tule, it’s all about getting people on the dance floor. Besides numerous club gigs, the outfit also works as a wedding band, and their brash, big sound has been responsible for lots of happy memories.
Earlier this year, El Tule self-released the EP Hecho In Austin, Vol. 3, the band’s third release since its formation. Vol. 3‘s standout, “Anthem,” is true to its title–an anthemic Latin groove that can instantly get feet dancing.
You can catch El Tule this Saturday at Tillery Park as a part of MapJam 2013, a daylong festival celebrating Austin music. Presented by the Austin Music Map, KUTX, and the City of Austin Music Division, MapJam 2013 features some of our favorite local bands at some of our favorite local venues, playing everything from bluegrass to hip-hop and conjunto to rockabilly. You can find more information here.