Sunday 20th October 2019
£20.00 - £47.50
Theo Croker - trumpet
Mike King - piano
Eric Wheeler - bass
Michael Ode - drums
Star People Nation (Masterworks/DDB Records) is trumpeter, producer, arranger, songwriter and multiinstrumentalist Theo Croker’s most personal project yet, something Croker describes as an intimate exploration of “the everyday rituals of blackness.” A translation of his personal, spiritual and creative experience, Star People Nation is a self-reflective collection of provocative, powerfully passionate and boundary-busting compositions that speak to our greater, shared human existence.
The first release from the album, “Subconscious Flirtations and Titillations” with its syncopated drum beat, passionate piano and emotionally-pulsating trumpet, illuminates the newly-broadened scope of sound explored throughout the entirety of Croker’s forthcoming Star People Nation. The new album finds Croker at the helm of production, songwriting and performance for the first time in his career, resulting in an intimate exploration of what he describes as, “the everyday rituals of blackness.” A translation of his personal, spiritual and creative experience, Star People Nation is a self-reflective collection of provocative, powerfully-passionate and boundarybusting compositions that speak to our greater, shared human existence.
The second pre-release track, “The Messenger” featuring jazz pianist ELEW, pairs a smoky blues piano with a traditional swing rhythm, locking into the pocket and showcasing Croker’s musical mastery. The track has already garnered critical acclaim, with EARMILK calling it "a testament to Croker’s firm standing within the realm of jazz and shows that his upcoming album will undoubtedly be one to remember.” It’s yet another example of the versatility explored throughout the entirety of Croker’s latest album.
Grandson of the late venerable trumpeter Doc Cheatham, and former student of legendary jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd, trumpeter, composer, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Theo Croker naturally follows an internal need to compose. Learning to play the trumpet at age 11 after hearing Cheatham play in New York City, by his teens Croker was studying music formally at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville followed by the Music Conservatory at Oberlin College.
Launching his career with seven years spent in Shanghai, Croker first introduced his singular style in 2014 on the Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted AfroPhysicist. His 2016 follow-up, Escape Velocity, marked a watershed moment for the artist, with the Wall Street Journal extolling the album as “timeless and of-the-moment.” Croker has also lent his talents to the world of hip hop, with rap superstar J. Cole’s platinum-certified No. 1 opus 4 Your Eyez Only, with Croker acting as trumpet arranger and performer on multiple tracks. GRAMMY® Award-winning rapper Common also sought out Croker for his critically-acclaimed album Black America Again. In 2019, Croker also leant his trumpet talents to the most recent release by Dreamville artist Ari Lennox’s Shea Butter Baby.
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