Lessons

Why Rhythm Traders Studio?

We welcome all skill levels.
Secure learning environment.
Growing roster of skilled instructors that are all local professionals.
Private, one-on-one lessons emphasizing the core concepts of technique, groove, reading and stylistic interpretation.
Each lesson path is designed specifically for the student.
    We carry all the instructional books you will ever need
     
    We are the pacific northwest’s only lesson studio specializing in all aspects of drums and percussion:

    Drum Set
    Congas/Bongos
    Cajon
    Djembe
    Rock/Funk/Blues/Latin/African/Middle-Eastern/Marching Percussion
    Hand & Foot Technique
    Sight Reading
    Group and Individual Instruction
    Audition Preparation
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    Instructor List:
     
    Carlton Jackson
     
    Specialties: Jazz, Rock, Swing, Big Band, Fusion
     
    Carlton Jackson
     

    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.

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    Ryan McPhaill
     
    Specialties:  Rock, Jazz, Metal, Indie, Pop, Soul
     
    Ryan Mcphaill
     

    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 Hound the Wolves (Post-Metal/Psychedelic) and The Tumblers (Country/Alt-Country).

    Beginners are always welcome!

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    Jolie Clausen
     
    Specialties: Rock, Blues, Folk, Country, Jazz, Reggae, Indie
     
    Jolie Clausen
     
    Jolie Clausen has been playing drums professionally for 30 years all over the Pacific Northwest and beyond and has been teaching for 15 years. Her current projects include Ashleigh Flynn and The Riveters, an all female Rock/Americana group based out of Portland and LA; Michelle DeCourcey Project (Hard Rock); guitarist/singer/songwriter Tom Holland (Classic Rock) and Al Perez (R&B/Soul). She has worked with The Norman Sylvester Band, Robbie Laws, Bill Rhoades, Michael Osborne, Tracey Fordice, Duffy Bishop, James Lowe Band, Billy Kennedy, Freak Mountain Ramblers and Gary Bennett and the Coattail Riders to name a few. She loves the musical diversity in Portland and the chance to play many different styles of music in any given week.
     
    Jolie studied drums and percussion at Whitman College and Eastern Washington University while going to high school in Walla Walla, Washington. She played in musical productions, jazz ensembles, big bands, the Walla Walla Symphony under Maestro Yaakov Bergman and had her own rock band that played local gigs and did studio recording. After graduating high school she moved to Portland and studied music at Mount Hood Community College where she met many fabulous musicians and instructors, one of which was local legend Mel Brown, her favorite and most influential teacher. She has also studied with Don Worth, Gary Hobbs, Professor of Music Percussion at PSU Joel Bluestone, Reinhardt Melz and Ron Tuttle.
     
    Jolie welcomes drummers of all ages, styles and levels, especially beginners! She can show you how to play your favorite songs while building coordination, learning notation and the 40 international drum rudiments. She can also help a seasoned drummer learn new styles, read drum charts and increase coordination and technique.
     
    Joey Harmon 
     
    Specialties: Indie-Rock, Hip Hop, Funk, Jazz, Experimental, Drum and Bass
     
    Joey Harmon
     
    Joey Harmon started teaching for hire at age 14 and has coupled his extensive teaching experience with performances all over North America as drummer for acts like Tango Alpha Tango, Fox and Bones,and the 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. Joey graduated from the New School Jazz of with a BFA in drum set and a BA in psychology from Eugene Lang in Manhattan. He is the multi-instrumentalist behind the band, Bootes Void and has been applauded by the Oregonian and opbmusic as writing one of the ten best songs of the year.
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    Dan Slavin
     
    Specialties: Beginners, rock, pop, funk, jazz, punk.
     
    Dan Slavin
     

    Music has been my passion since I got my first guitar at age 10. Growing up loving the alternative bands of the 90’s and finding punk rock in my teens sparked an intense desire to play drums and make music. I started forming and playing in bands in high school, and over the last 20 years I’ve been performing, recording, and writing my own music. When not drumming or teaching I like to listen to podcasts, read, be outside, and spend time with my family.


    I strive to help students develop to their fullest potential and achieve their musical goals. Students are given progressive exercises that focus on healthy hand/foot technique, rhythm/timing, reading skills, coordination, grooves, and song studies. Over time students gradually develop the understanding, ability, and control needed to discover and unleash their individual voice on the drums. 


    While learning the drums takes serious dedication and practice, I strive to create a patient, fun, and supportive environment for my students, with a focus on their individual needs. I love the drums and music, and I’m super excited to work with beginners as well as more advanced players interested in enhancing their drumming. 

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    Shanna Doolittle
     
    Specialties: Rock, Punk, Indie, Beginners
     
    Shanna Doolittle
     
    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. 
     
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    Dave Averre
     
    Specialties: Jazz, Swing, Brushes
     
    Dave Averre

     

    Dave 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.  Regionally, Dave has performed with Dave Captein, Toni Pacini, Jerry Hahn, John Stowell, Randy Porter, Rob Davis, Ed Bennett, Steve Christofferson, George Mitchell and Chuck Redd.

    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.

    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: Eddie Fisher, Mose Allison, Carl Saunders, John Surman, Eje Thelin, Eric Balke, Jon Balke, Armen Donelian, Karin Krogg, and Arild Anderson.

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    Israel Annoh

    Specialties: Jazz, Latin, Funk, Afro-beat

    Israel Annoh

    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.

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    Catón Lyles
     
    Specialties: Djembe, Conga, Percussion
     
    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.
     
    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. As an actor, he performed in the play Note to Self  (3 time Drammy Award nominee and winner of Best Ensemble in a Play) and the musical Geezer Palooza. 
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    James Travers
     
    Specialties:  Drum Set, Timbales
     
    James Travers
     

    Education: MHCC, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music BFA Jazz Studies/Drum Set

    Studied with: Eduardo Velazquez, Ralph Irazarry, Lenny White, Scott Ketner

    Played with: Agua Miel, Bobby Toerres Ensemble, Linda Hornbuckle, Black Angel, Jerry Joseph

    Areas of Emphasis: Technique, Stylistic Interpretation, Reading

    Levels Taught: Beginner-Intermediate

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    Contact Store Manager James Travers regarding questions or to book your lesson: jt@rhythmtraders.com, or call us at 503-288-6950.
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