Black Cat is always packed and vibing when Theo Croker is in the House. It is the same reason large venues across the globe are filled when his dynamo band hits the stage: they are nothing short of sensational. Downbeat in awarding a top 4 star rating to Theo’s newest album raved: “Escape Velocity is an amazing album of poise, power and ambition. Croker is an incredibly talented artist we will be listening to for a very long time!” Even though this latest album explores the ranges of jazz crossover sounds (hip hop, rap, funk and electronica), Croker is masterful in his exploration and reinterpretation of classic jazz standards, as well as taking those time-tested techniques and creating new standards of his own from contemporary hits.
IRWIN HALL is an award-winning internationally renowned saxophonist, flutist and clarinetist. He got his first saxophone at his public elementary school’s music lottery and quickly fell in love with the instrument. He secured his first pro gig at 11 years old and started winning several local, regional, and national music competitions while performing throughout the country. He attended Princeton University on a full ride to study East Asian foreign relations. He learned Japanese and after graduating moved to Tokyo, Japan to work as a research assistant to the Editor-In-Chief at a major Japanese newspaper. But he was unable to resist his calling, and not long after, while at the Tokyo Jazz Festival, he ran into songstress Melody Gardot who heard him play and immediately hired him to tour with her band. He quit his job, packed his bags and went on back-to-back international tours as the featured soloist with Melody, earning rave reviews and write-ups around the world. He has since gone on to tour, perform, and record with 3x Grammy/Tony Award winning NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater, soul icon John Legend, bass virtuoso Charnett Moffett, and countless more. He has performed in cities around the world including London, Tokyo, Prague, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris, Pori, Shanghai, Melbourne, etc and continues to perform and lead his own band.