Justin Ruppel is a Toronto-based musician, writer, lab rat, and former Simpsons trivia champion. After completing a degree in neuroscience and psychology at the University of Toronto, Justin was accepted into the Humber College music program and studied drums privately with Nate Smith, Billy Martin, Jim Blackley, Al Cross, and Mark Kelso.
Justin has become an in-demand session musician and has performed or recorded with many artists including Cat Clyde, Whitney Rose, Volur, Al Tuck, Simone Schmidt, Jaron Freeman-Fox, Kirty, Devin Cuddy, Oh Susanna, Waleed Abdulhamid, Grammy Award winners George Massenburg and Pete Anderson, as well as with members of Blue Rodeo, Tafelmusik, and The Lemon Bucket Orkestra. Performance highlights include a diverse spattering of festivals including The WayHome Festival, SXSW, The New Orleans French Quarter Festival, Wavelength Music Festival, Hillside Folk Festival, The Vancouver Folk Festival, and The Ashkenaz Klezmer Festival. As a touring musician, he has travelled across North America and Europe opening for Sylvia Tyson, The Proclaimers, Sam Roberts, Dallas Smith, Natalie McMaster, and Alex Cuba.
Creatively, Justin wears a few hats outside of session work. He has collaborated on a number of theatre and film soundtracks as a composer and performer, earning a Dora Nomination for sound design on theThe Italian Mime Suicide and performing the role of W.S. "Fluke" Holland in the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet. A fairweathered friend to the clawhammer banjo, Justin's drop thumbing can be heard on the latest album by The Boxcar Boys and has been featured on CBC, BBC, and Canadian college radio stations. And, with one toe firmly planted in the lab door, Justin has worked as a neuroscience research assistant at The University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mount Sinai Hospital, co-authoring a number of scientific papers available here. Finally, his fiction writings have been published in a number of journals and magazines including Vallum and Grain Magazine.