Trumpeter and bandleader Theo Croker has a multicultural background. This can be heard in the creative production of the 29-year-old American. He is the grandson of the legendary trumpeter Doc Cheatham and mainly writes film scores and produces hip hop, which might explain his rough but very hip mainstream jazz compositions. After graduating from the Oberlin Conservatory, Croker moved to Shanghai, where for nearly six years, every night he and his quartet worked on creating a close-knit sound, during their sessions at The House of Blues & Jazz. During this period Croker met Dee Dee Bridgewater, whom he also accompanies these days. She, in turn, produced his third album, AfroPhysicist (2014), on which a number of top-notch musicians collaborated, including David Gilmore and Stefon Harris, and Roy Hargrove even took care of the vocals for once. Croker is one of the most innovative trumpeters of his generation and a standard bearer of straight-ahead jazz with an attitude.