Photos from the Victor Wooten concert at the Redstone Room on April 21, 2013, as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday jazz series. For more work by Matt Erickson, visit

Photo by Matt Erickson,

I am writing in praise of Nate Lawrence and Polyrhythms. Polyrhythms is a Quad Cities organization dedicated to bringing jazz music to their community, not only through live performance, but also with workshops for non-musicians and musicians alike. These events take place the third Sunday of every month at the state-of-the-art Redstone Room inside the beautiful new River Music Experience building, which serves as a museum/classroom/performance space for American music (with an emphasis on jazz music that came up the Mississippi River).

I am a jazz vocalist based in Chicago. Last Sunday, I had the great fortune of performing for the Quad Cities community as part of Polyrhythms' Third Sunday Jazz program. The experience was very rewarding because of the combination of the performance and the workshop.

arthoyle.jpgBorn 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."