About Our Lesson Program
We are the pacific northwest’s only lesson studio specializing in all disciplines of drums and percussion.

How to Book
Please fill out the form below. If you have any questions, contact store manager James Travers:
Email: jt@rhythmtraders.com, Phone: 503-288-6950.

Prices vary by instructor. Once you are matched with an instructor,
they will tell you their pricing.

Our Instructors
For decades, Rhythm Traders instructors have helped students of all levels learn, grow, and perform.
Graduates of our lesson program have gone on to perform at national and international stages.


Israel Annoh
Specialties: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Afro-beat

Born in Ghana, West Africa, Israel’s own style comes from jazz greats such as Max Roach, Cosy Cole, & Elvin Jones. In addition to jazz, Israel is a specialist in percussion, and congas.

Tour History: 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.

Carlton Jackson
Specialties: Jazz, Rock, Swing, Big Band, Fusion
A native of Portland, Carlton’s well-documented work has solidified his status as engaging and versatile. The Carlton Jackson/Dave Mills Big Band has performed at the PDX Waterfront Blues Festival, The Mt. Hood Festival Of Jazz, The Oregon Symphony, and The Rose Festival.

Tour History: Leroy Vinnegar, 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, Gordon Lee, Pete Rugolo, James DePreist (Oregon Symphony Orchestra.)

Jolie Clausen
Specialties: Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Jazz, Reggae, Indie
Jolie Clausen has been playing drums professionally for 30 years all over the Pacific Northwest and has been teaching for 15 years. She loves the musical diversity in Portland and the chance to play many different styles of music. Jolie welcomes drummers of all ages, styles and levels, especially beginners!

Tour History: The Norman Sylvester Band, Robbie Laws, James Lowe Band. She currently performs with Ashleigh Flynn and The Riveters, an all female Rock/Americana group based out of PDX/LA.

Ryan McPhaill
Specialties: Rock, Jazz, Metal, Indie, Pop, Soul
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. Beginners are always welcome!

Tour History: He currently plays around Portland with the bands Hound the Wolves (Post-Metal/Psychedelic) and The Tumblers (Country/Alt-Country).

Catón Lyles
Specialties: Djembe, Conga, Percussion
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.

Tour History: Catón is currently performing in many bands including Trio Eclectique d’ 903 , The Crazy 8’s , The Gary Ogan Band, jazz singer Tasha Miller and the New Orleans style funk group The Roseland Hunters.

Shanna Doolittle
Specialties: Rock, Punk, Indie, Beginners
Shanna has been teaching drums for over 20 years. She specializes in beginner to intermediate drumming, focusing on coordination, learning and writing new beats, improving technical skills, and helping students reach their individual goals. She believes anyone can learn to play the drums and have a lot of fun in the process.

Joey Harmon
Specialties: Indie-Rock, Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Experimental, Drum and Bass
Joey Harmon started teaching for hire at age 14 and has coupled his extensive teaching experience with performances all over North America. Joey graduated from the New School Jazz of with a BFA in drum set. He is the multi-instrumentalist behind the band Bootes Void and has been applauded by the Oregonian and OPBmusic as writing one of the “10 Best Songs of the Year”.

Tour History: Tango Alpha Tango, Fox and Bones, Stone Foxes. His drumming is featured in the trailer and soundtrack to the film Lady Bird as well as numerous international TV and radio commercials.

Dave Averre
Specialties: Jazz, Swing, Brushes
Dave began studying drums at the age of five and played his first professional job at fifteen. 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. In 2010 he was inducted into The Oregon Jazz Society Hall of Fame with the long-standing group Tall Jazz.

Tour History: Molde and Voss Jazz festivals (Norway), Dave Captein, Toni Pacini, Jerry Hahn, John Stowell, Randy Porter, Rob Davis, Ed Bennett, Steve Christofferson, George Mitchell and Chuck Redd.

Sean Bennett
Specialties: R&B, Hip-Hop, EDM, Country, Hard Rock, Rock
Sean is a teacher, session drummer, and engineer from Denver, Colorado. Growing up, he studied percussion and jazz under Blue Knights writer and instructor Mike Nevin. After studying percussion performance at the University of Northern Colorado, Sean toured the country with Denver rock group The Heyday.

Tour History: Matt Hires, Kaptan, Kiernan McMullan and Stealing Oceans.

Carmelo Torres
Specialties: Congas, Timbales, Bata, Cajon
Early in his career, Carmelo was a piano and guitar instructor at Grand Street Music in Portland. After relocating to Austin in 1997, he taught guitar and Latin Jazz at Texas State University. Since 2001, Torres worked with Anthropos Arts Program’s Dylan Jones. As a music educator, Carmelo strives to get the very best out of his students, transferring his love for music, and shows them how to have fun along the way.

Tour History: Grammy winners Jason Mraz, Los Lonely Boys, Willie Nelson, Grupo Fantasma and Milton Nascimento, and countless more.

Schedule an Appointment