Adam Kent

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