Available languages: EnglishTrumpeter Theo Croker is an adventurous jazz musician known for his cosmically minded, spiritually enlightened take on post-bop, funk, and electronic-tinged fusion. The grandson of famed trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker first garnered attention in the 2000s playing straight-ahead jazz before issuing such stylistically expansive albums as 2014's Dee Dee Bridgewater-produced Afro Physicist and 2016's Escape Velocity. Born in 1985 in Leesburg, Florida, Croker began playing trumpet around age 11, inspired by his grandfather. By his teens he was studying music at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville. From 2003 to 2007, Croker attended the music conservatory at Oberlin College. While there, he was mentored by legendary trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd. Also during this time, he earned the Presser Music Foundation Award, which funded his debut album, 2006's Fundamentals. After graduating Oberlin, Croker relocated to China, where he took up residency at Shanghai's House of Blues. His 2009 album In the Tradition paid tribute to Cheatham. In 2013, Croker returned to the States and began work on his third solo album, the Dee Dee Bridgewater-produced Afro Physicist. Released in 2014 on OKeh Records, the album found him branching out stylistically, weaving elements of funk, Latin jazz, and hip-hop into his sound. In 2016, he delivered Escape Velocity, which found him delving deeper into a genre-bending, spiritually enlightened, funk-influenced jazz sound. The hip-hop, R&B, and electronic fusion effort Star People Nation arrived in 2019 and was produced by Croker. It peaked at number 15 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart and earned Croker his first Grammy nomination, for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.
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Moderne jazz - Verschenen op 17 mei 2019 | Masterworks
Trumpetist Theo Croker was born in 1985. Like most of his peers, it is not likely he grew up knowing only jazz. Rock, funk, hip-hop, soul and electro all had a role in his musical education and personal creations. The grandson of the great trumpetist Doc Cheatham and protégé to singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, Croker often switches it up with his albums. And Star People Nation doesn’t break with this trend. “It’s taken me thirty years of analyzing my own identity as an artistic black man to finally fit all of this into my interpretation of Black American Music,” explains Croker. “We have been positioned to receive creative transmissions. We are grounded in the now in order to shape the vision of our future. Star people nation is now in motion.” Star Nation People is thus a translation of his personal experiences, spiritual and creative, but also an introspective collection of provocative, passionate and open-minded compositions that discuss everyday human values. Theo Croker translates this musically into a funky jazz rich in African percussions, American brass, and Caribbean flair. Croker is not limited to his trumpet and plays key, drum, synthesizer and percussion parts on this record as well as taking part in choral sections. Nevertheless, the essence of his groovy compositions remains inherently jazz. Croker abides to the traditions of his instrument through which he confirms, album after album, that he is one of the trumpet’s most adventurous ambassadors. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz