Press Release - Debut CD: Ragtime for Rent

CD Cover: Ragtime For Rent

Cover Artwork: John C. Knapton
January 6, 1998

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet is pleased to announce the release of their debut Compact Disc recording: Ragtime for Rent!

Order It Now for only US$16.99
by Secure Payment on

Ragtime? Yes, it’s Ragtime! It has been a hundred years since Ragtime burst onto the musical scene. As we approach the beginning of a new century, our subconscious curiously calls forth a variety of responses to the moment. We tap our heel to the relentless beat of the left hand. Even when the machine stops, your head keeps rocking to the rhythm. Meanwhile, the right hand artfully stumbles, spins, and syncopates, improving as it improvises; improvising as it improves.

Enter the saxophone. On this disc you have popular music wedded to one of the century’s favourite instruments. The saxophone quartet brings a genuine ragtime spirit to the party. Here we have a street-smart, down-and-dirty, wailing music machine capable of spinning out all the right nuances of the idiom.

Ragtime and saxophones make for a quality experience worthy of hours of listening enjoyment.

Ragtime for Rent features 17 lively arrangements in over 45 minutes of music composed by Joplin, Turpin, Bowman, Botsford, Cobb, and Barroll, as well as a terrific new arrangement of Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag by Canadian arranger Eddie Graf, and an original composition by world-renowned Ragtimist: Bob Milne. Cover art is taken from an original painting in oil by Canadian artist John C. Knapton, local to Elora, Ontario. Website:

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet is a professional ensemble based in Guelph, Ontario performing in a variety of venues across North America since 1991.

Ragtime for Rent is available for sale and distribution at the address below at the suggested retail price of $16.99 USD.

Sample tracks from the CD in MP3 format:

   Maple Leaf Rag   |   Bassoons For Rent   |   12th Street Rag

The Piggly Wiggle   |   The Easy Winners

What's on the CD

Ticklin' Time...from Joplin to Gershwin

New CD
Ticklin' Time...from Joplin to Gershwin
Click here for a sneak preview!

Ragtime for Rent has recently been featured on:

  • Disc Drive with Jurgen Gothe on CBC Radio 2 FM (94.1 FM) and

  • Pot Pourri with Terry Campbell on Classical 96 FM (CFMX 96.3 and 103.1 FM), North America's Number One Classical Music Station

  • Music for the Mind with Jennifer Gordon on CFRU FM (93.3 FM), Campus Radio, University of Guelph

  • The Jazz Show with Ted O'Reilly on CJRT FM (91.1 FM), Classical and Jazz Fine Arts Radio in Toronto

  • National Public Radio in the United States NPR Online

Reviews about Ragtime for Rent

"This is certainly one of the best saxophone quartets in Canada. Excellent spirit, dynamics, and great feeling. First Class. I loved it!" -- Paul Brodie, Order of Canada


Click here to read the profile and review of the RCSQ and their CD Ragtime for Rent in the September/October issue of Saxophone Journal.

I Defy You to Sit Still When You Hear this Joyful CD, July 20, 2004
Reviewer: J Scott Morrison (Middlebury VT, USA)

I'd come to know the playing of the Royal City Saxophone Quartet from their latest release, 'Smiles and Chuckles,' which reproduced the music of the early 20th-century pioneers of pop saxophone playing, The Brown Brothers, a musical family from Ontario. This group, also from Ontario, are worthy successors. I urge you to get the 'Smiles and Chuckles' CD for its historical value; it contains arrangements of early 20th-century hits played in the style of the day.

This disc is similar except that some modern stuff gets snuck in - fine by me! - amidst the earlier rags included here. Things like 'Bassoons for Rent', co-written by RCSQ bari player, Ernie Kalwa. And something called 'Pan Am Rag.' But the old favorites are here, too: 12th Street Rag, Pineapple Rag (my own favorite - I can't tell you how many times I've been ask to play it [on the piano] at parties over the years), Maple Leaf Rag, and so on.

This group is simply sensational and if, like me, you love the sound of saxes playing this kind of music, what are you waiting for? The only drawback is the short timing - 46:05 - because you want the music to go on. That's easy, just put it on repeat!

 Scott Morrison (reproduced from with permisson)

January 15, 1998 15.48 EST  Entertainment and culture  MUSIC-Review  code:3
By The Canadian Press

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet - Ragtime for Rent (Independent)

If it wasn't for Robert Redford and Paul Newman in a movie called The Sting, ragtime might exist only as a historical curiosity in the jazz world.  With a soundtrack based on Scott Joplin's classic turn-of-the-century rags, the 1973 film gave new life to one of the earliest forms of popular music.  The Royal City Saxophone Quartet, based in Guelph, Ont., is helping to keep it alive.   Their first CD, the independently released Ragtime For Rent, is a delightful collection of famous and obscure rags, recorded at a surprisingly high level of quality for a self-produced project.  The stripped-down, four-sax arrangements are pleasantly crisp.  Ernie Kalwa, Tim Moher, Bradley Moggach and Peter Wendell are somehow able to create a sound that seems much bigger, richer than one would expect from a wind quartet.   With some well-known Joplin numbers included -- the Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer among them -- the disc has immediate appeal.  But the real treats are the lesser-known songs. The quartet's performance of classical composer Claude Debussy's Le Petit Noir is excellent, as is their version of The Russian Rag by George Cobb.  In this 17-song collection, the quartet has captured ragtime's passion, bottled it and shot it out through the barrels of their instruments.  Whether through raw talent or hard work, this little-known group has come up with a world class effort on their first try.  (Reviewed by Andrew Flynn, CP)

"The playing is marvelous, and the arrangements are imaginative and fun!"
-- Dr. Bruce Vermazen, Professor, University of California at Berkeley,
   Author of "The Six Brown Brothers"

"Rich with talent…noble and unorthodox...elegant variation, superb intonation and inflection. This is right down your alley!" -- The Mississippi Rag

"A happy treat! Now the jubilant sound of the "raggy reeds" can march right into your living room. You gotta love this sound -- it's fun!" -- Jack Rummel, The Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation

"Yes! Bravo! Excellente! Smashing! Maestroes! Let's start it over and play it again! It's great!"
-- Bob Milne, Ragtimist

"Excellent CD - non stop fun from start to finish. Very smooth. A very popular CD around the radio station."
-- Jennifer Gordon, Host, Music for the Mind, CFRU-FM

"What a wonderful sound! I love the RCSQ because of their fresh ideas and their smooth music!"
-- Hartmut Domr'se, Germany, saxophone student and one of the best fans of the RCSQ

Submit your own review...

How to Order...

Order it from Ragtime Express

Order it from Dorn Publications

To order a copy of the CD by mail, send a Certified Check, Cashier's Check, or International  Postal Money Order in US funds for $16.99 which includes applicable taxes and shipping to:

The Royal City Saxophone Quartet
P.O. Box 2896
Elora, Ontario  N0B 1S0
Phone & Fax: 519-846-9663

U.S. Money-Orders should be purchased through your local 7-11 store.

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