Ragtime Jazz Brunch to Celebrate Doctorow’s New Rochelle

Get ready to try “The Bunny Hug,” “The Foxtrot” or maybe even “The Castle Walk”: This fall ArtsFest – the New Rochelle Council on the Arts annual weekend celebration –  will include a very special fundraiser, a Ragtime Jazz Brunch celebrating the dedication of the new statue of E.L. Doctorow coming to New Rochelle. Guests of honor will include members of the Doctorow family as well as sculptor Derek Chalfant.

Internationally acclaimed author E.L. Doctorow was a beloved resident of New Rochelle, and his Broadview Avenue home inspired the award-winning novel “Ragtime” (which also became a popular film and a Tony Award-winning Broadway show). “We will be recreating the Ragtime era in art, music and dance,” says Lynn Green, NRCA Vice President and fundraiser Chair.

Committee member Barbara Davis, co-Director of the Westchester County Historical Society and New Rochelle’s City Historian, explains that the Queen City played an important part in American popular culture in the pre-World War I period: “Major American illustrators like  Frederic Remington, J.C. Lyendecker, and Norman Rockwell made their homes here, and the era’s leading dance duo, Vernon and Irene Castle, met here,” she says, adding that Irene (nee Foote) was a  New Rochelle native.

Guests are invited to wear period-inspired dress for the Ragtime Jazz Brunch, which will take place at Wykagyl Country Club and include a sumptuous buffet of brunch favorites including “bottomless” Mimosas. Entertainment will include Ragtime music by renowned pianist Adam Kent, professional dancers Paolo and Laurentina demonstrating popular dances of the period, “photo opps” with antique cars, a silent auction of exclusive experiences and plenty of fun.

Tickets are priced at $125 per person; Patron Tickets are available at $250 per person; Sponsorships include tickets and special benefits. To reserve visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ragtime-jazz-brunch-tickets-700430796367?aff=oddtdtcreator

About ADAM KENT                                                                               

New Rochelle native pianist Adam Kent has performed in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and in chamber music on four continents. A winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards, Dr. Kent also received top prizes in the Thomas Richner, the Juilliard Concerto, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competitions, and is a recipient of the Arthur Rubinstein Prize and the Harold Bauer Award.  Dr. Kent made his New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall in 1989 and is a favorite on N.Y.C. area radio stations.

His recently released recording of the piano music of the Cuban-American composer Tania León entitled “Teclas de mi piano” has garnered critical praise from The New York Times. Among his other critically acclaimed commercial recordings are a CD of Ernesto Halffter’s complete piano music on Bridge Records and performances of chamber works by Joaquín Turina, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Oscar Lorenzo Fernândez with the Damocles Trio and Emerson Quartet violist Lawrence Dutton on the Claves label.

Since 2016, Dr. Kent has been a professor of music at the State University of New York at Oneonta, where he was recently awarded the 2023 Susan Sutton Smith Award for Academic Excellence. Summers have found him serving as Director of Cultural Outreach at the Burgos International Music Festival and teaching and performing at the Summit Music Festival in N.Y, Alberta Pianofest in Edmonton, Canada, and the Cursos de Verano of the Fundación Princesa de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain. He received a D.M.A. from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. He holds as well B.M. and M.M. degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of Solomon Mikowsky. In April 2023, Dr. Kent began a three-year tenure on the American Fulbright Specialist roster.



Paolo & Laurentina specialize in the American Born social dances of the 1920s – 1950s such as The Charleston, The Lindy Hop, Balboa, Collegiate Shag, and The Madison Time. Recently they’ve added earlier periods such as Regency Era 1850s thru to early 1900s to their repertoire.

They’ve travelled the globe and have been featured on some of the biggest stages in Europe (Umbria Jazz ITALY, San Sebastian Jazz Festival SPAIN) dancing with Big Bands The City Rhythm Orchestra and Ray Gelato & The Giants. Paolo and Lauren are thrilled to be part of this program and look forward to sharing their dance knowledge with you!

Learn more about them here https://lindyhopallstars.com

and at LINDYLAND.com their virtual swing hub

About New Rochelle Council on the Arts

The New Rochelle Council on the Arts mission is to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and the public\’s interest and participation therein. It has been exemplified by our sponsorship of a vast number of exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series. To create opportunities for the public to encounter and explore art and increase access to the arts in New Rochelle.

NRCA has been in existence for nearly 40 years — it was created by a resolution adopted by the New Rochelle City Council on April 8, 1975. Our mission is to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing and fine arts and the public’s interest and participation therein. This is exemplified by our sponsorship of a vast number of exhibitions, theatrical productions, dance recitals, film screenings, lectures, and concert series.