“Theon Cross is a London-based tuba player, composer, and bandleader. Since 2015 he has been one of the key components of the city’s revitalized jazz scene due to his unique style of tuba playing in jazz, funk, dubstep, grime, hip-hop, and improvised music.
His self-released digital debut release, 2015’s ‘Aspirations’, brought him international attention as a bandleader and garnered him a pair of nominations for Best Instrumentalist (Jazz FM Awards 2016) and Best Jazz Newcomer (Parliamentary Awards 2016).
In 2018, Theon contributed his composition – Brockley – to ‘We Out Here’, the Brownswood compilation curated by Shabaka Hutchings thus cementing his place as the sonic bedrock of the scene.
In 2019 he released his debut long-player ‘Fyah’ (Gearbox Records) which reached #1 in the UK jazz charts. The new album came out to critical acclaim and almost a year on from release tracks from ‘Fyah’ can still be heard on radio and key streaming playlists and has just been nominated as one of the Jazz Albums of the year in Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM Awards. It has thus far featured in top albums of 2019 in the LA Times, the Quietus, Rolling Stone and GQ to name a few. Editorial support and airplay came from The Guardian, Clash Magazine, The Quietus, BBC 6Music, BBC Radio 3, BBC 1XTRA, BBC Radio London, Worldwide FM, NTS Radio and Soho Radio.
This year Theon’s band has performed at key UK festivals including: Love Supreme, We Out Here, JazzRe:Fest, Glasgow Jazz Festival, as well as completing a 10 date national tour. This live activity has allowed him to showcase the new and enriched sound he’s developed since the release of Fyah.
In 2020, Theon will continue to take his exciting live set around the world with a planned tour of North America in June and July taking shape. He will continue to play clubs and festivals across Europe as well with a mini-UK tour being scheduled in the autumn.. In addition , he will follow up Fyah with a new EP on which he will again push the boundaries of what can be done with his instrument by using the studio to turn it into a complete beat and melody making machine over which a set of vocalists and rapper will then add their art. He will also be recording his sophomore album for release in 2021.
Besides his own band, Theon collaborates with Sons of Kemet, Kano, SEED Ensemble, SteamDown and Nubya Garcia and features on the opening track of Stormzy’s new album Heavy is the Head.