Oberlin

Theo Croker '07, trumpet


Theo Croker, 24, is a trumpeter and composer. His pursuit of music is based on individuality, personality, and integrity, where an artist transcends tradition and creates his own voice. The grandson of jazz trumpet legend Doc Cheatham, Crocker's upbringing was strongly influenced by the history, culture, and spirit of jazz. He first picked up the horn at age 11. He pursued an education at the conservatory in part to study under such jazz greats as Wendell Logan, Donald Byrd, Marcus Belgrave, Gary Bartz, Robin Eubanks, Dan Wall, and Billy Hart.

The young Leesburg, Fla., native released his first album, The Fundamentals, in 2007, after receiving the Presser Music Foundation Award. The grant allowed him to produce a record of his own compositions. In March 2009, Arbors Records released his second album, In The Tradition, featuring drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. The album also presents Crocker on vocals.

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City commissioned him to produce six concerts for its Harlem in the Himalayas series. He featured jazz luminaries Jimmy Cobb, Billy Hart, Winard Harper, Benny Powell, Wycliffe Gordon, and Marcus Belgrave. He also performed at the 2008 JVC Jazz Festival and in the Highlights In Jazz series at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York.

Crocker maintains a residence in the United States and in Shanghai, China. His latest project is serving as the band leader and composer on “Asia Uncut with Jon Niermann,” the only Asia-wide, English language, night-time talk show featuring western and Asian celebrities, musicians, and comedians. The widely popular show is broadcast on Star World Network owned by Rupert Murdoch.

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