Born in Mississippi, veteran jazz
trumpeter Art Hoyle was raised in Oklahoma in the early 1930s, and
says that jazz "was just an inevitable part of the black community
when I was growing up. You heard it everywhere - jazz and blues,
and gospel music, of course. It was just part of everyday living."
It became a much bigger part for
Hoyle, though, on his eighth birthday, when the young man received
his first trumpet - a gift he'd long been longing for. "I was
overjoyed," says Hoyle, recalling that before he turned eight, "My
mother took graduate courses at Lexington University in Oklahoma in
order to qualify to teach in that state, and I picked up a trumpet in
the band room one day and played some notes.
"Everyone was astounded at what I
could do," he says with a laugh, "and I enjoyed the attention, so
I decided I wanted to play the trumpet."