Meinl Percussion recently donated over 20 samba instruments to the education program at Rhythm Traders in Portland, Oregon.
“All of our teachers are super excited," explained Brad Boynton, owner of Rhythm Traders. ”It’s not just for our in-house lesson program, but more of an instrument library to be used by many of our local samba groups and school teachers. Just last week a middle school teacher from Vancouver borrowed them for classes, and then a show for the parents. Most local schools don’t have all these exotic instruments, and that’s where we had to step in. The happy-ometer in that room was on '10', and we couldn’t have done this without support from Meinl.”
Rhythm Traders hosts a Saturday Samba School as well as on-going workshops and master classes with guest artists from around the world. Their group lessons span the globe from samba, drumset and djembe to Afro-Cuban congas and salsa dance.
“We know it can cost thousands of dollars to outfit a samba ensemble, and we felt the community impact was worth the investment,” said Mitch McMichen of Meinl, USA. “Rhythm Traders is a focal point for music education in the Portland area, and we both felt that if local students and music teachers had access to instruments, that it would strengthen music education during a time when it’s often on the chopping block.”