It isn’t often that one comes across a jazz bandleader who is playing the tuba. Another fixture on the smoking hot London jazz scene, Cross brings the funk to traditional New Orleans jazz, with definite flourishes of hard bop as well.
The musician/composer has earned many plaudits since he self-released his debut EP, Aspirations in 2015. The Guardian noted, "Theon Cross crucially embraces the bass and rhythm role with exuberant inventiveness." Aspirations is a five-track recording with Nubya Garcia on tenor sax and bass clarinet (a recent Jazz Cafe featured Artist on playMYmusic.FM) and Moses Boyd on drums. Nominated for Best Instrumentalist of the year (Jazz FM Awards 2016) and Best Jazz Newcomer (Parliamentary Awards 2016), he also received a great deal of exposure with his inclusion on Gilles Peterson’s We Out Here compilation. Peterson himself called Cross "incredible!"
Cross keeps himself busy with his band, the four-piece Sons of Kemet. He also lends his talents as a sideman with many others in the scene, including Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Pharoe Monch, Emile Sande and Kano. He’s another one to watch in this hotbed of rising talent. Hopefully, he’s booked some studio time to deliver another recording to eager fans.