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Rhythm Traders offers private drum lessons, weekend group classes, workshops, and clinics, and we invite you to build your own custom class using our drums, lesson rooms, teachers and other resources.

Private Drum Set Lessons

Group Classes

Workshops & Clinics

Build Your Own Class


Our Drum Set Teachers

We have skilled drum teachers of all kinds and all specialties available for private lessons. The lessons are held at our store in Portland. Use the contact form below or give us a call to setup a private lesson with one of our teachers.

Israel Annoh

Drum Set, Congas, Cajon, & Bongos

Specialties: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Afro-beat

Availability: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays

Born in Ghana, West Africa, Annoh's own style comes from jazz greats such as Max Roach, Cosy Cole, & Elvin Jones. In addition to jazz, Annoh is a specialist in percussion, and congas. He's played at the BBC studios in London, traveled through Africa, Europe, and the US. He's played with Highlife pioneer E.T. Mensah, Obo Addy, and the Ghana Broadcasting Orchestra. Currently, he drums for Michael Allan Harrison and other top groups in town.

Click for more information about Mr. Annoh
Dave Averre

Drum Set

Specialties: Jazz, Swing, Brushes

Availability: Wednesdays and Thursdays

Dave Averre is an accomplished jazz drummer and educator whose career spans more than three decades. He began studying drums at the age of five and played his first professional job at fifteen. His earliest instruction was from his father, a local jazz drummer and instructor whose career began during WWII as a bandsman for the USO. As a young student, Dave commuted to New York City, studying with the prominent drummers Joe Cusatis, Charli Persip, Jim Chapin, Michael Carvin and Joe LaBarbara.

After college, Dave moved to NYC and began making inroads into the jazz scene, doing performances and studio work on the east coast in upstate New York and Connecticut. In 1981, Dave had the opportunity to travel to Norway and performed steadily throughout Scandinavia for two years. He played the Molde and Voss Jazz festivals each year with European and American musicians such as Eje Thelin, Karin Krogg, Arild Anderson, Jon Balke, Armen Donelian, John Surman, Tony Coe and many others.

Upon returning to the States, he completed a degree in Music Education from Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey) and in 1996 moved to the Northwest where he performs and teaches in the Portland Metro area. In 2010 he was inducted into The Oregon Jazz Society Hall of Fame with the long-standing group Tall Jazz.

In addition to performing, Dave is committed to jazz education. He teaches privately, conducts clinics and workshops focusing on rhythm section development and techniques for secondary schools and colleges.

Dave’s inspiration over the years has been influenced by a wealth of master musicians such as: Bill Evans, Max Roach, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Keith Jarrett, Roy Haynes, Shelley Manne and others. He has performed with notables: Eddie Fisher, Mose Allison, Carl Saunders, John Surman, Eje Thelin, Eric Balke, Jon Balke, Armen Donelian, Karin Krogg, and Arild Anderson. Regionally, Dave has performed with Dave Captein, Toni Pacini, Jerry Hahn, John Stowell, Randy Porter, Rob Davis, Ed Bennett, Steve Christofferson, and George Mitchell.

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Ryan McPhaill

Drum Set

Specialties: Rock, Jazz, Metal, Indie, Pop, Soul

Availability: All Days of the Week

Ryan has been teaching individualized drum lessons in the Portland area since 1995. His lessons are tailored to the student — stressing technique, independence, reading, transcription, preparation, and above all, confidence. He currently plays around Portland with the bands Sioux, Ed and the Red Reds, and Salyut Seven. Beginners welcome!

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Joe Janiga

Drum Set, Electronic Drums

Specialties: Jazz, Rock, Electronics, Composing

Availability: All Days of the Week

Joe Janiga is a musical drummer who has a global understanding of rhythm and music with over 20 years teaching experience.

He has worked as a percussionist, composer, dance accompanist and band leader since 1988. Joe was nominated for an Emmy and went to the Oscars in 2009 for the film "The Final Inch". He has also worked with Oscar Award winner Joan Gratz on her animated film "The Dowagers Feast" and with critically acclaimed animator Chel White on "Magda".

Joe has played and recorded on drumset and acoustic/ electronic percussion over the years in many musical genres from Ghanaian folkloric to Reggae and from Jazz to Latin and Rock. Joe lived and studied in Brazil in 1998. 

He currently plays with Klezmocracy, 3 Leg Torso and Voniga. Joe has worked nationally and locally with the late Frank Morgan, Renato Caranto, Bill Rhodes and the Party Kings, Teri Robb, David Valdez, BossaNouveau, David Ornette Cherry, Alfredo Muro, Body Vox Dance Theatre, Unshakeable Race and More Time among others. 

Joe currently plays and composes for Do Jump Theater an acrobatic/ dance company that has performed all over the United States including runs at the New Victory Theater (Broadway NYC), the Kennedy Center (D.C.), The Ordway Theater (M.N.) and the Geffen Theater (L.A.)

Recently he started a company called DeepDishDesigns LLC that created a professional sheet music viewer for the iPad. It is called DeepDish GigBook.


Click for more information about Joe
Joey Harmon

Drum Set

Specialties: All styles, Indie-Rock, Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Experimental, Drum and Bass

Availability: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays
Rhythm Traders Drum Instructor Joey Harmon

Joey is a young up-and-comer in the national indie rock scene. He graduated from The New School Jazz conservatory in NYC with a BFA in drum set performance and a BA in psychology. He currently performs and records regularly with local rock & roll band Tango Alpha Tango and indie rock band Horsemanship. During the five years he spent as a music student and player in NYC he studied with Bernard Purdie, Charlie Persip, Adam Deitch, Mark Guiliana, and Amir Ziv.

Generally, lesson plans emphasize goals in the following categories and in no particular order of importance: feel and sound, sight reading, composition and notation, 5-way independence and coordination, tuning, practice routine, posture and technique. Beginners to experts welcome.

Outside of drumming Joey enjoys snowboarding - he competed at amateur status with several international endorsements by the time he was 17. He also likes to backpack, skateboard, read, and write music.

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Carlton Jackson

Drum Set

Specialties: Jazz, Rock, Swing, Big Band, Fusion

Availability: Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & weekends by appointment

Los Angeles Times longtime Jazz Music critic Don Heckman once wrote of Carlton Jackson's drumming as being "intensely musical..."

The description perfectly describes Carlton, as he has been associated with various areas within the musical world, and continues to be a first call musician in the performance and recording industry. His flowing, incisive style & a firm respect for the inherent tradition of various music genres has made him a natural choice for local, national, and international projects. This awareness has led to his performances appearing in feature films, television and radio.

Celebrating the diverse musical community which continually engages him, Carlton brings his distinctive style to each musical endeavor. A native of Portland, Oregon, his well-documented work with contemporary jazz pianists Tom Grant and Dan Siegel, guitarists Dan Balmer and Terry Robb, Blues/R&B singers D.K.Stewart and Curtis Salgado, country-pop singer Toni Land and iconoclastic composer Jon Newton, have solidified his performer status as engaging and versatile.

A further sampling of the artists whom Carlton has worked with includes the legendary "Father of the Jazz Walking Bass" Leroy Vinnegar, as well as other greats such as Billy Eckstine, Bo Diddley, Jerry Hahn, Maryann Price, Mark Isham, Jim Pepper, Bobby Torres, James Cotton, Houston Person, actor Bruce Willis, Melissa Walker, Dianne Schuur, Larry Coryell, Danny Barnes, Bill Frisell, and Gordon Lee (in Trio & Big Band settings.)

In addition to jazz, blues, rock, country and other contemporary styles, Carlton has also worked under the batons of symphonic and orchestral direction by such conductors as Pete Rugolo, Norman Leyden and James DePreist (Oregon Symphony Orchestra.)

His current musical focus is co-direction of an 18 piece big band with the talented and prolific composer/arranger Dave Mills in the Portland area. The Carlton Jackson/Dave Mills Big Band has performed at many prestigious events & venues including the PDX Waterfront Blues Festival, The Mt. Hood Festival Of Jazz, The Oregon Symphony, and The Rose Festival. In addition, the group was featured in a program by Oregon Public Broadcasting which profiled the band and it's co-leaders.

Click for more information about Carlton
Jolie Clausen

Drum Set

Specialties: Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Jazz, Reggae, Indie

Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday

Jolie has been performing around the Portland metro area for over 15 years. Her versatility keeps her busy playing with local rock, blues, folk, country, jazz, reggae, and indie rock bands. Her current projects include The Rocktarts, Bill Rhoades and the Party Kings, Malachi Graham and Big Bossa. She has been teaching all ages and all styles for over 15 years. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, tennis, kayaking, skiing and going out and listening to bands for inspiration.

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Shanna Doolittle

Drum Set

Specialties: Rock, Punk, Indie, Beginners

Availability: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Shanna Doolittle has over 20 years of experience teaching beginner and intermediate drums. She currently teaches drums at Girls Rock! Santa Barbara, and has taught at Drummer Town, Portland Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls and Youth Music Project. She is currently in the two-drummer band STLS and plays live shows with Hurtr. She believes everyone can have fun while being challenged to develop drumming skills, coordination and creative thinking. Students of all genders and skill levels welcome, regardless of age or previous musical experience.

Click for more information about Shanna

Lesson Form

Please call us (503-288-6950) or fill out this form if you are interested in taking private drum lessons at Rhythm Traders. We will contact you to discuss available teachers and plan your first lesson.


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Group Classes

Our Group Classes are a great way to meet other players and to get started or improve your skills on African and Latin drums and percussion and Brazilian Samba instruments. Classes are held on the days and times listed below at our store in Portland.
Catón Lyles

Catón teaches several of our Djembe and Conga workshops. These group classes focus on basic technique and polyrhythms used in playing the Djembe, Sangban, Kenkeni and Dununba drums. Studies include popular West African traditional rhythms from Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Guinea, and Cote Ivoire.
Caton Lyles at RT
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Rhythm Traders
3904 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Portland, OR 97212
Store Hours:
Mon - Sat 11-7, Sundays 12-5
(Pacific Standard Time)
Call us: 503-288-6950

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