Theo Croker

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Theodore Lee Croker
Born (1985-07-18) July 18, 1985 (age 33)
OriginLeesburg, Florida, U.S.
GenresJazz·electronic·hip hop· r&b
Occupation(s)Composer·musician·record producer·band leader·trumpeter
InstrumentsTrumpet·piano·keyboards·synthesizer· percussion·vocals·drum machine·sampler·computer
LabelsDDB Records·Okeh Records·Sony Masterworks
Associated actsDee Dee Bridgewater·Common·Karriem Riggins· Stefon Harris·Roy Hargrove·China Moses·J.Cole

Theodore Lee Croker (born July 18, 1985) is a jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader from Leesburg, Florida. Theo Croker has released four studio albums—Fundamentals (2006), In the Tradition (2009), Afro Physicist (2014), and Escape Velocity (2016).

Early life and education[edit]

Theodore Lee Croker (born July 18, 1985) is a jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader from Leesburg, Florida. He is the second son of William Henry Croker, a civil rights activist, high school principal and farmer, and Alicia Cheatham, a guidance counselor, and the grandson of Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Doc Cheatham.[1]

Croker is a graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory.[2]

Music career[edit]

In 2013 Croker returned to the United States after a seven-year stay in Shanghai, China, where he broadened his concept of jazz to encompass other complementary genres such as salsa, fusion-rock, R&B, hip-hop and blues. While in Shanghai, he held a five-month residency at Shanghai's House of Blues.[3] Soon after that he was hired as the house band for Asia Uncut Star Network, a late-night television show modeled on the Tonight Show–where Theo served as music director, bandleader and in-house composer until mid-2010.[4]

That same year Croker met and performed for the first time with vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater. Over the next two years, Bridgewater and Croker kept in touch, exchanging musical ideas. In July 2010 Croker became the first artist in residence at Shanghai's Peace Hotel Jazz Bar, the oldest and longest-running music club in China.[5] Both the Jazz Bar and the hotel, now the Fairmont Peace Hotel, date back to the 1920s when it was known as the Cathay Hotel.


  • The Fundamentals (Left Sided, 2006)
  • In the Tradition (Arbors, 2009)
  • Afro Physicist (Masterworks/OKeh, 2014)
  • Escape Velocity (Masterworks/OKeh/Sony, 2016)[6]


  1. ^ "JAZZ A film by Ken Burns - PBS". Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Oberlin Alumni Magazine :: Winter 2005-06". Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Jazz, All About. "Theo Croker Quintet at House of Blues & Jazz in Shanghai". Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  4. ^ "Jazz Theocracy: Theo Croker - Talk Magazine - The Authority on Shanghai Life". Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Jazz Bar". Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  6. ^ "Theo Croker | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 July 2017.

External links[edit]