by Narissa Carthy-Dundas, 11-year-old student at Revival Drum Shop
Revival Drum Shop, located in SE Portland, is a small vintage drum shop owned by local drummer, Jose Medeles.
Jose has been interested in drums since the young age of nine years old and has been taught by Steven Hodges, Ed Shomesie, and Jimmy Brown during high school.
His favorite area of the shop is the counter where everybody talks and hangs out. Next to the counter is a wall of assorted drumsticks for sale, and on the other wall there is Revival merchandise ranging from bumper stickers to sweatshirts.
There is a separate room, dedicated to cymbals of all shapes and sizes, which you can test out.
The drum kits are mostly upstairs, but there are some located downstairs in the center of the shop. Jose’s office is downstairs, and outside of it are two leather wingback armchairs, which is drum teacher Lisa Schonberg’s favorite spot.
Upstairs is even more drums, drum collectibles, and multiple different percussion instruments.
Throughout the shop, you will find drum art, pictures, and posters. On your trek upstairs you can see vintage decorated drum heads, articles, and newspaper clippings.
The shop makes an immense effort to provide an excellent experience for everybody. The shop has a pleasant and welcoming aura, and the Revival team are very involved with the local drum community.
Not only do they sell drums, but it offers multiple services besides that as well. It has a rental program for those looking for a more temporary set-up, plus a repair shop. They also provide “Teching” where they will go to your location and tune your drums for you. They offer lessons for all ages and have an excellent cast of teachers.
Lessons from Jose himself are not available but instead you can be taught by Lisa Schonberg, Clifford Koufman, Tim Leitch, Brent Follis, and Brian Gardiner.
Lisa has been drumming since age nine and offering lessons for 20 years. Friends would often ask her to teach them how to play drums, and since she enjoyed doing so, she incorporated it as part of her career. Lisa has known about the drum shop since it opened but did not officially join the Revival family until they moved to their second location that had a room for lessons. Her book, “The DIY Guide To Drums” is available in the shop. She has worked with Nadia Buyse, Tara Jane ONiel, Mirah, Tuneyards, The Need, Cloud Eye Control, Tender Forever, and is currently in the percussion and noise group, Secret Drum Band.
Clifford is a well-rounded drummer and percussionist who trained in West Africa. He has been taught by Chester Thompson, Bob Moses, Roy Wooten, Famoudou, Mamady Kieta, and Jason Marsallis. For a long time, he has focused on spreading his musical passion via education and has been doing that since 1999. Clifford offers lessons on African drumming as well as drumset.
Tim is a member of a highly musical family and was born in Los Angeles. At age eight, Tim started playing drums in the Bosa and Jazz Shangra. At the age of twelve, he was tutored by Don Clark and Deane Hagen. By the time he was 17, he had studied jazz idols Joe Pass and Art Pepper, not to mention performing with Don Ellis and Ralph Humphries. He has also performed with Nina Hagen, Lydia Lunch, John Belushi, and that’s not even all! He still plays often with his band Nasalrod.
Brent has started loving drums at a young age. While attending university, he worked hard as a sideman for some of the greatest bands in St. Louise, alongside multiple artists and dance groups, as well as heading his jazz quartet. In Portland, he became friends with drummer Isreal Annoh, who helped him develop hi-style of playing. He continued his learning with Portland State University’s jazz program.
Brian has played drums with rock bands, jazz groups, and symphony orchestras. He holds a percussion position in the Portland Opera, as well as the Vancouver (Washington) Symphony Orchestra. Brian is an adjunct professor of music at Marylhurst University, Portland Community College, Warner Pacific College, and Concordia University.
The lesson room is located down the hall from the shop next to the bathrooms and other practice spaces. The room doubles as a storage space and possible performance space. The room contains two drum kits, extra drumsticks, and a whiteboard. More drum and vintage artwork and posters line the walls, and on one side of the room there is a stage that sometimes houses drum kits that are on hold. And if you look closely, you can spot the whimsical drum alarm clock, which is a drumset, and the base head is a clock.
Overall, Revival Drum Shop is a welcoming shop, with incredible friendly atmosphere and awesome merchandise. If you are in Portland at any time and looking for supplies, I highly recommend a visit. You can also access their website anytime and check out their scene any time you like.