About this artist

I’ve been parading around as the Ragtime Kidd in the Kingston area for 25 years. I originally set out to play ragtime, boogie and barrelhouse. I continue to play these styles but in order to find employment I’ve played every imaginable style.

One of my highlights was playing for Princess Diana on her visit to Kingston in October 1991.

I have worked several drummers in the past and I still work occasionally with Doctor Drums. I have been a member of the Ragtime Society in Toronto and the Kingston Musician’s Union Local 518.

I performed in a variety of venues including every Sunday Brunch at the Holiday Inn Kingston for 20 years.

I also used to work with Patty Smith in a group we called The Swelltones.

8 Responses

  1. Ross,

    My family and I have seen you play live may times. Your energy is infectious! How can I ring the live experience home? Have you recorded a CD???


  2. Thanks Marin, I’m in the process of recording some original rags and boogie-woogie as well as a few classic Ragtime pieces. I should have a finished product soon. Doctor Drums is going to add rhythm and there will be other contributions from some fine musicians as well. I’ll keep you posted.

  3. Hey Ragtime Kidd…
    Regards from Mexico. I like your website and your versions. I just met ragtimes 2 years ago, and you play them so naturally… That’s great! Well, can you tell me something about the Vitality Rag like history or author, because I got no info on the Internet… I would love to play that song. I’m sure you can help me.

  4. I wrote the Vitality Rag in about 1986 and performed it that year with Doctor Drums at the Toronto Ragtime Society annual festival. I finally recorded it on the Not Just Ragtime CD in 2007 but I haven’t transcribed it to paper yet. I’ll try to get my rags on paper and post them soon 🙂
    I appreciate your comments Javier!

  5. Hi Ragtime Kidd,

    I know this is very random, but I am teaching my student Gerswhin’s Rialto Ripples Rag on the piano. I’ve been teaching him to swing the 8th notes. However, I’ve recently read that we shouldn’t swing. Is there an agreement on that?

    • That’s a really good point and there are two views on that. Jelly Roll Morton swung Maple Leaf Rag in his New Orleans style but he also recorded the same piece straight (St. Louis style) on the album “They all played the Maple Leaf Rag”. Even Jelly Roll realized there were two styles back then. For Rialto Ripples, its starts with those triple eighth notes which I believe is an indication to swing it. To be honest, I’ve only heard that tune swing. My advice is to choose what sounds good to your ear and go with it. Good luck!

  6. Hi Ragtime Kidd — I recently came back from the 2012 West Coast Ragtime Festival and I was interested in knowing if there was still some semblance of a Ragtime Society in Toronto?

    Do you know?


    • Hi Frank, I don’t believe there is anything left of the Society that John Arpin started in 1962. I tried to contact some members in 2007 and couldn’t locate them anymore. There is some historical information on the Ragtime Society here. I think there are a few of us left who keep inserting rags in our repertoire and I find the response is still good. Thanks for asking!

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