Theo Croker

Dee Dee Bridgewater performing with Theo Croker at the 2014 Exit O International Jazz Festival
By Ben Johnson
Theo Croker performing at the 2014 Exit O International Jazz Festival
By Ben Johnson
Trumpeter Theo Croker performs as part of the Revive Big Band at the 2016 DC Jazz Festival
By Jati Lindsay

1 of 3      Next

Theo Croker is the grandson of the late, great Doc Cheatham. Cheatham, a veteran of 1920s Chicago, played lead trumpet with big bands including Cab Calloway’s, and did not emerge as a soloist until he was already in his late sixties. During his final 25 years, Cheatham, who lived to 92, was a much beloved swing stylist and a personable singer. Croker is following in his grandfather’s footsteps, not by copying him but by developing his own voice on the trumpet, which he first played when he was 11. Five years later he moved to Jacksonville, Fla., to study at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. During 2003-2004, when he was still a teenager, he became the artist in residence at the Ritz Theater, composing commissioned works and leading a 17-piece big band, a septet and an 80-piece choir called the Ritz Voices. He graduated from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 2007 with a B.A. in Jazz Performance. While still at Oberlin, Croker performed with Louis Hayes’ Cannonball Adderley Tribute Quintet and he has also shared the stage with Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Regina Carter, Henry Butler, James Spaulding and others. His debut recording, The Fundamentals, was recorded when he was 21. He wrote and arranged all of the selections for his sextet. The music is based in hard bop while looking backwards toward earlier styles as well as forward. In addition to jazz, Croker writes and produces hip-hop, film scores and contemporary classical music.


Articles on Theo Croker

10/26/16    Features    By John Murph

A Conversation With Theo Croker

08/17/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Theo Croker

  • Email E-mail
  • Share Share
  • Rss RSS
  • Report Report

Next Artist

Theo Jorgensmann