920-410-0465 powersdrums@gmail.com

The Kola Nuts

What in the world is a Kola Nut?

Definition #1: According to Wikipedia, “The Kola Nut has a bitter flavor and contains caffeine. It is chewed in many West African cultures, individually or in a group setting. It is often used ceremonially, presented to tribal chiefs or presented to guests . . . Kola was used to make cola soft drinks, though today most of these mass-produced beverages use artificial flavourings.”

Definition #2: The Kola Nuts are a funky little group of percussionists from the Salem, Oregon area, who love to create rhythms on hand drums and other toys. Just like the above mentioned kola nuts of West Africa, we most enjoy playing in a group setting, and are always eager to present our rhythms to other guests, friends and the rest of the community!

Who we are . . .

The Kola Nuts world percussion ensemble is comprised of students of a weekly hand drum class taught, in Salem, by Mark Powers. Mark began teaching the classes in November 2006 at Riverfront Wellness (2399 12th St SE), where they still continue on Tuesday evenings. The foundation of a Kola Nuts performance (consisting of ensemble rhythms from around the globe) is made solid by the core members performing on djembes, bell and rattles, while a rotation of additional players brings new percussive textures to each show!

Percussionist/educator Mark Powers has performed and studied drumming throughout the United States, Cuba, Puerto Rico, China, Thailand and Ghana, West Africa. He shares his passion for rhythm through private lessons and his workshops for schools, businesses, correctional institutions and community events. Visit his website at PowersPercussion.com

theKolaNutsThe Kola Nuts feature a rotating roster of performers, including:

Mark Powers
Rick Maurmann
Jan Irving
Ken Smith
Mike Fahy
Paula Vawter
Arianna West
Kat Bell
Jason Lafontaine

. . . and more!

Upcoming Performances:

opening for Led Zeppelin World Tour
(and if you believe that, we also have a bridge in Brooklyn and some cute little winged pigs to sell you!)

Past Performances:
October 12, 2012
Zambia Night fundraiser @ Clockworks Cafe & Cultural Center


November 20, 2011
appearance at Jewish Orchestra concert- Portland

October 21, 2011
Zambia Night fundraiser @ Clockworks Cafe & Cultural Center

July 6, 2011
Salem “First Wednesday” community event
downtown Salem, at the Salem Art Association’s “Con•temporary 107″ gallery space

March 27, 2011
Amaloboozi fundraiser @ Clockworks Cafe & Cultural Center


October 22, 2010
Zambia Night fundraiser @ Clockworks Cafe & Cultural Center

September 5, 2010
on the Village Stage @ Oregon State Fair

May 23, 2010
Music for Peace event in McMinnville

March 13, 2010
Oregon Peaceworks “MyPeace” kickoff event @ Coffee House Cafe


October 23, 2009
Zambia Night fundraiser @ Blue Pepper

August 5, 2009
outdoor performance @ Cafe Noir, for Salem “First Wednesday” community event

June 20, 2009
accompanying Hot Vinyasa Yoga @ Indigo Wellness Center

May 2, 2009
performance @ Cafe Noir

March 10, 2009
“Purim in Africa” celebration- presented by the Chabad Jewish Center of Salem


October 11, 2008
local real estate agent talent show event @ Elsinore Theatre

August 6, 2008
Salem “First Wednesday” community event
downtown Salem, at the corner of Court & Commercial

July 2, 2008
appearance with the Willamette Valley Saxophone Quartet @ Grand Vines

We’d love to drum for your next event!

For more information & booking, contact Mark at:
powersdrums [at] gmail [dot] com