Rhythm Traders, founded in 1992, is a locally owned full-line drum shop in an 11,000 sq/ft facility, featuring a 5000 sq/ft showroom, an equal 5000 sq/ft of warehouse and repair facilities, plus an additional 1000 sq/ft in lesson studios.
We have the Northwest's most extensive selection of drum sets, cymbals, marching & symphonic percussion, electronic kits, sampling pads and triggers, djembes, congas, and world percussion. We offer lessons, repair, rentals, school packages, and have an extensive kids' drum section for the wee ones.
We're authorized dealers for Tama, Ludwig, Yamaha, Roland, Gretsch, Pearl, DW, PDP, Mapex, Rogers, Sonor, and Barton in addition to the used and vintage kits we offer. We have the region's largest cymbal vault, with Zildjian, Meinl, Sabian, Paiste, Cymbal Foundry, Cymbal & Gong, Bosphorus, Wuhan, Dream, Istanbul, and Amedia cymbals stacked floor to ceiling. And to fill in the gaps, we have the accessories you need from Tackle, Roc-n-Soc, Lowboy, Snareweight, and Offworld.
A self proclaimed "C" average drummer in all styles, Brad got his first pair of sticks at age eight and came up through the school system in Eugene, Oregon playing in symphonic and jazz bands. After discovering African percussion while attending Lewis & Clark College, Brad graduated with a degree in cultural anthropology and backpacked through West Africa for a year, eventually starting Rhythm Traders in 1992. He still loves music, travel, and culture - currently plays a lot of salsa and is the cajita specialist in Portland.
Favorite Concert: The Clash at Mac Court in Eugene, Oregon 1984
Favorite Pieces of Gear: Eduardo Velazquez copper timbales, 12" remote Zildjian New-Beat hi-hats, Tackle Instrument Supply leather cymbal case, and Vater Karl Perazzo Drumbale sticks.Favorite Drummer: Mamady Keita
JT (James), General Manager
The journey to drums was rather circuitous for JT. Starting off in 4th grade, James tried his hand at the clarinet and the French horn, without much luck. When he started hanging with the drum line in high school, he had secured a spot in the snare line by the end of band camp. James then focused on the marching arts, eventually earning a coveted position with the snare line of the Santa Clara Vanguard ‘87 (Jonz!). Next, he decided to focus on drum set and Afro-Cuban percussion, which led to several trips to Cuba. He received his BFA from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, and has played with many of Portland’s musical icons including Linda Hornbuckle, The African Kings, Black Angel, Pura Vida, Cubaneo and the Bobby Torres Ensemble. Above all, James is enjoying being General Manager of the best drum store on the planet.
Favorite Concert: Body Count, Fishbone, & Primus at Melody Ballroom
Favorite Pieces of Gear: Vintage Pearl Steve Ferrone Snare, and timbale bells handmade by a cat named Beco in Havana.Favorite Drummer(s): Eduardo Velazquez, Reinhardt Melz, Ralph Irizarry, David Garibaldi
Ben, Assistant Manager
Ben is our Assistant Manager, and go-to for drum tuning, electronics and recording expertise. He draws his main drum set and percussion influences from Terry Bozzio, Elvin Jones, Matt Cameron, Steve Houghton, and John McEntire. He has lived in the Portland area for almost eight years and has enjoyed performing in local bands, providing studio drum tracks, and being a mobile recording engineer.
In his off time, Ben engineers for artists in local and outlying areas, visits the Oregon Coast, attends local shows and plays with his band New Rambis.
Favorite Concert: Elvin Jones and the Jazz Machine – At Yoshi’s
Favorite Pieces of Gear: Sonor Vintage Series drums, ES Percussion Maple Snares, the classic Ludwig Supraphonic snare, Zildjian K Custom Dark crash cymbals, Paiste Signature Cymbals, Meinl Byzance Cymbals, Roland triggers and E-kits, Drum Workshop 5000 and 9000 series pedals and hardware.Favorite Drummer: Matt Cameron and Elvin Jones
Nate, Sales Associate
Bryan, World Drum Repair (RIP)
Born in east St. Louis, MO, Bryan moved to Oregon in 1969 and attended Lincoln High School in Portland. His first real gig was at 18, playing guitar in a band called The Royal Knights. More recently he has focused on Afro-cuban rhythms and music. Bryan currently plays bass with salsa band Melao de Cuba and reggae singer O.B. Addy from Ghana. Influences include Bootsy Collins, Cachao, Stanley Clark, Ray Brown and Juan Formell.
Sitting on the turntable currently are the Isley Brothers, Issac Delgado and Sonora Carruseles.
Favorite Concert: Frankie Beverly and Maze
Favorite Pieces of Gear: Edge Q06 six string bass guitar though a Mark Black Line 250 bass amp, vintage mahogany Gon Bops congas, and Master Series djembe from Ivory Coast, West Africa that he built himself.Favorite Drummer: Carlton Barrett of the Wailers