Theodore Lee Croker is an American trumpeter from Leesburg, Florida. Croker is famous for employing elements of jazz, funk, and hip-hop into his sound, as well as his acute expertise of the trumpet. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2007, and was mentored by legendary trumpeter Donald Byrd during his time there. During his time at college, Croker won the Presser Music Foundation Award, which he used to fund his debut album Fundamentals (2006). From 2007 to 2013, Croker honed his skills in Shanghai where he eventually held a residency at Shanghai’s House of Blues and led the house band for Asia Uncut Star Network, a late-night television show in the same vein as Late Night or the Tonight Show.
In 2010, Croker became the first resident artist at the oldest music club in China, Shanghai’s Peace Hotel Jazz Bar. Croker returned to the United States in 2013 and continued his ascension in the jazz scene, and released his grammy-nominated album Star People Nation in 2019. Theo Croker has frequently collaborated with other artists in the contemporary jazz and hip-hop fields such as J. Cole, Ari Lennox, and Common. Croker is considered by many as one of the cutting-edge talents in contemporary jazz right now.