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Our Legacy


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.

We have the largest and most comprehensive World Percussion showroom in the country with LP, Gon Bops, Bossa Nova, Meinl, A Tempo, Treeworks, Tycoon, Toca, & Remo, as well as local craftsmen. We import the highest quality hand-carved djembes, dununs, bells and other African instruments ourselves from the same craftsmen in West Africa who first supplied us with master-quality instruments 30 years ago.

Stop by in person or online, and discover our low prices and huge selection of drums, percussion, cymbals and accessories. Find out what Oregonians have always known; that they can shop locally while still getting the best prices, and superior product knowledge & customer service from fellow drummers. We have FREE on-site parking, and there's NEVER sales tax in Oregon. Sticks, heads, and cymbals are 40% OFF everyday. Come see why we're The Drummer's Toy Store...

Rhythm Traders
3904 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,
Portland, Oregon 97212
(2 blocks North of Fremont,
at the corner of NE Failing and NE MLK)
Phone: 1- (503) 288-6950

Tuesday - Saturday: 11am - 7pm
Sunday 12pm-5pm
Closed Monday
(Pacific Standard Time)

Staff Biographies _____________________________________

Brad, Owner

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

From St. Paul, MN, Nate Wright showed an interest in music from his first days. Persistent in his pleading for drums, his parents made a deal with him that if he could get through two years of piano lessons, he could switch to drums. At age seven, after two years of fulfilling his parents deal, he was rewarded with a drum pad and weekly lessons. Nate attended the University of Arizona to pursue a degree in Music Education and a minor in Percussion Performance. Nate then moved to Seattle, WA, where he found himself playing with the bands Coho, The Royal Bear, The Reformation, and Mostly Dimes.
From Seattle, Nate went on a world adventure from Thailand to Bali and India, studying Gamelan, Tabla, and Raga music. From there he returned home and was immediately sought after to direct at a number of high schools for indoor winter drumline programs and percussion ensembles. He also taught at Minnesota Brass Drum and Bugle Corps and at the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps.
Most recently, Nate has been focusing his energy and time in Portland, OR, where he plays in three Portland bands: Tigers On Opium, Hound The Wolves, and A//TAR.

Favorite Concert: Bad Brains, Fugazi, Rollins Band, First Ave. Minneapolis 1996

Favorite Pieces of Gear: Nate plays Innovative Percussion sticks, Meinl Cymbals, and Pearl Drums and Hardware.

Favorite Drummers: Zigaboo Modeliste, Jon Theodore, Tony Williams


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


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