Noted trumpet player and bandleader Theo Croker, known by his fans as “the AfroPhysicist”, will perform at the 38th Annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 27. The grandson of jazz legend Doc Cheatham, Croker is among the most highly regarded trumpeters of his still-young generation. His musical training has taken him from Jacksonville, Florida to Oberlin, Ohio to Shanghai, China to New York City, developing along the way his unique style including elements of salsa, rock, R&B, blues, and hip-hop.
Theo Croker was born in Leesburg, Florida in 1985, first picking up a trumpet around age eleven. One of his first public performances came at the funeral of his grandfather, legendary New Orleans trumpeter Doc Cheatham, just a year later, inspiring him to make music his career as well. At sixteen, he moved to Jacksonville to study at The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, later attending the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied under Grammy-winning jazz innovator Donald Byrd. After graduation, Croker formed his first band in New York, the Theo Croker Sextet, before moving to Shanghai for an extended period during which he experimented with different genres. This time abroad further developed his band’s characteristic sound with influences from several different projects he worked on there, including his participation in fusion and salsa bands which continued to expand his musical horizons. Acclaimed jazz singer and actor Dee Dee Bridgewater signed him to her label after meeting him in 2009, seeing his vast potential and encouraging him to channel his inner voice. The title for his most recent album, The AfroPhysicist, released in May 2014, comes from a nickname bestowed on Croker by his brother; both the nickname and the album have been very well-received, proving to be hits with his audiences.
The Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival is one of the most celebrated and longest-running jazz events in the world. Since its inception 37 years ago, the Festival has welcomed some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, funk, and other related musical genres to Saratoga Performing Arts Center. SPAC is proud to once again host the Festival during its 2015 season on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28. Legendary artists and its legendary atmosphere make the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival a can’t-miss event for jazz lovers from within and beyond the Capital Region.