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THEO CROKER returns today with his newest single “JAZZ IS DEAD” featuring GARY BARTZ and KASSA OVERALLlisten here. An amalgamation of styles, sounds and textures, the track was co-written and co-produced with D’LEAU (Miguel, Raphael Saadiq, The Roots, J*Davey) and features vocals by Croker, his mentor Gary Bartz (who also features on alto saxophone), and longtime friend and collaborator Kassa Overall. “JAZZ IS DEAD” is an ode to Croker’s love of the many influences, forms and styles encompassing “jazz” and a statement on the inadequacy of a singular word to capture the breadth of such a rich musical tradition. Arriving alongside a colorfully upbeat video featuring Croker and his collaborators, “JAZZ IS DEAD” is the start of a new chapter for the musician as he gears up to release his seventh studio album this year via Star People Nation / Sony Music Masterworks.  

Of the new track, THEO CROKER says, “Using ‘Jazz’ as a label continues to displace the music and unfairly categorize the contributions of our LEGENDS. I would like to join THE MASTERS, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Donald Byrd, and Gary Bartz, to name a few, and dismiss ‘Jazz’ as a descriptor for the genre. The music must live on unchained, no longer marginalized from the community who continues the legacy of our ancestors.” 

In honor of Gary Bartz’s recent collaborations with the Jazz Is Dead® project, an unrelated movement started by Adrian Young and Ali Shaheed Mohammed to connect jazz music and icons with younger generations, Croker will join Bartz as a special guest at Los Angeles’ Lodge Room on August 14, as part of the ongoing Jazz is Dead® concert series presented by ArtDontSleep – more information on the show can be found here.


Theo Croker is a storyteller who speaks through his trumpet. A creative who refuses boundaries, the GRAMMY®️-nominated artist, composer, producer, influencer and thought leader projects his singular voice through music. Croker first debuted his simmering original sound in 2014 on the Dee Dee Bridgewater-assisted AfroPhysicist, returning two years later with 2016’s follow-up Escape Velocity, lauded by the Wall Street Journal as “timeless and of-the-moment.” He once again reached new heights with 2019’s Star People Nation, attracting widespread critical acclaim and garnering his first-ever GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Contemporary Instrumental Album.” In addition to his music being featured in television shows (HBO’s Insecure) and films (The Photograph), Croker has also lent his talents to platinum-selling albums by J. Cole, Ari Lennox, Common and more, all while touring with his band at venues across the globe. The year 2020 returned Croker to his childhood home in Florida, where he wrote and recorded his sixth full-length album BLK2LIFE || A FUTURE PAST, a star-studded effort featuring contributions from Wyclef Jean, Ari Lennox, Gary Bartz, Charlotte Dos Santos, Iman Omari, Malaya, and Kassa Overall. Lauded as a “smoldering neo-jazz collection” by The New York Times and “a vital experience” by CLASH, the album yet again propelled Croker to new heights, including his late-night television debut with a performance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert alongside Wyclef Jean. Croker now starts yet another chapter in his constant evolution as an artist, returning with new single “JAZZ IS DEAD” as he gears up to release his seventh studio album via Sony Music Masterworks.



Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, Milan Records, XXIM Records, and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit