At 24, trumpeter and composer, Jonathan Saraga was said by All About Jazz to play "with the wisdom and maturity of veterans more than twice his age", and that "his chops, lust for musical life and don't-box-me-into- a-stylistic-corner mentality make him seem like the musical offspring of trumpeters Dave Douglas and Ambrose Akinmusire."

After winning the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo Competition in 2007, and competing as one of five finalists in the 2009 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition, Jonathan received his Bachelor of Music degree from SUNY Purchase. In 2010, he was selected as one of two trumpeters to participate in the School for Improvisational Music summer intensive program and would go on to receive his master’s degree in jazz studies from SUNY Purchase in 2011. In 2012, Jonathan released his debut album, First Vision for Blue Truffle Music, which was hailed by All About Jazz as a "stand-up-and-take-notice offering" and compared to "Miles Davis' "Nefertiti", "John Zorn's "Masada", and the "Blue Note records of the early 1960s".

Saraga was one of two trumpeters considered for the 2014 Juilliard Artist Diploma program and one of four trumpeters selected to participate in the 2015 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. In 2016, Jonathan begin pursuing a 3-year Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies, during which time he received the 2016 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award and became a 2-time Semi-Finalist and Winner of the International Songwriting Competition in 2016/17. He since has been selected for the 2019 Banff Early Fall Artists in Residence program and has achieved finalist status in the 2019 New Jazz Works grant presented by Chamber Music America.

Before earning his title as Dr. Saraga, Jonathan released his sophomore album, Journey to a New World for Fresh Sound Records in 2017, which Jazz Journal (UK) said "comes out of the speakers with a rare confidence and finish, but without the smuggery and sheen that a lot of contemporary jazz has in place of real content." Jerry Gordon of Evidence Records calls it "brilliant", 'Jazz Magazine' (France) notes the group's “astonishing maturity” while 'Jazzwise' (U.K.) states they are "assertive" and "inventive."

Since 2006, Saraga has appeared on nearly 30 albums as a sideman, and has performed throughout Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and across the U.S. in ensembles led by highly acclaimed artists such as Steve Coleman, Henry Cole, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, Orrin Evans, Josh Evans, Jimmy Greene, Tyshawn Sorey, Eric Bergen and the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra to name a few.

Jonathan holds 3 degrees in Jazz Studies/Trumpet Performance (B.M., M.M., D.M.A.), and has taught for major educational institutions and programs such as the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance, the Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, the Lyceum Kennedy International School, Jubilee Enrichment Programs, and the New York Jazz Academy. He also served for 6 semesters as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, which included 3 semesters of ensemble coaching/conducting as well as 3 semesters of 100+ student History of Jazz lecture classes for non-majors.

Screen name:
Jonathan Saraga
Member since:
May 24 2006
Active over 1 month ago
Level of commitment:
Years playing music:
Gigs played:
Over 100
Tend to practice:
More than 3 times per week
Available to gig:
6-7 nights a week
Most available:


Clifford Brown, Adam Rogers, Tom Harrell, Steve Coleman, Freddie Hubbard, David Sanchez, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Jerry Bergonzi, Chet Baker, Jonathan Kriesberg, Ryan Kisor, Charles Blenzig, Blue Mitchell, Alex Sipiagin, Miguel Zenon, Sam Rivers, Steve Wilson, Ravi Coltrane, Andrew Hill, Wayne Shorter, Vijay Iyer, Nicholas Payton, Herbie Hancock, Steve Swallow, Donny McCaslin, Art Pepper, Loren Stillman, Joshua Redman, John Ellis, Chick Corea, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Art Farmer, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Miles Okazaki, Chris Potter, Art Tatum, Ben Monder, Jimmy Greene, Miles Davis, Aaron Goldberg, Jon Gordon, Donald Byrd, Walt Weiskopf, Kenny Dorham, Seamus Blake, Le Boeuf Brotheres, Adam Larson

Instrument experience:



TRUMPETS: I play a Bach Stradivarius Model 37 Bb Trumpet with a gold lacquer finish, which produces a crisp warm open sound. I also play a Yamaha Xeno 8345 RG Bb trumpet a "shot-blast finish," which produces a darker, richer tone.

FLUGELHORN: In addition I play a Blessing Bb Flugel Horn w/ red brass bell. This instrument can add a smooth, mellow color to any project.

MUTES: Also, I possess a wide variety of mutes, which can add a nice change in timbre and color. I currently possess the following types of mutes:
Cup, Straight, Harmon, Plunger, Bucket, and Pixie

PEDALS: At the moment I use a Line-6 DL4 pedal with my Yamaha "Silent Brass System" to create loops,effects, and desired sounds.

AMP: Lunchbox Mini. Perfect for small theaters, and intimate recording sessions.



Past Events

I'm very much looking forward to being back at Cornelia St. Cafe, this time with a quartet featuring:

Jonathan Saraga - trumpet/compositions
Anthony Wonsey ~ piano
Rick Rosato ~ bass
Johnathan Blake ~ drums

1st Set: 8-9pm
2nd Set: 9:30-10:30pm
$10 Cover/$10 Minimum

Come to the first set, stay for the second for no additional cover charge!

We will be playing originals and standards for you, and will do our very best to make some good vibes and good music happen.

I hope to see you there :)

Location: SUNY Purchase, Conservatory of Music, Room 0081, 735 Anderston Hill Road, Purchase, NY. 10577, 914-251-6000

Time: 8:30 PM

Details: Trombonist and Bachelor of Music student Mathew Atfield presents his Senior Recital, which will feature am array of musicians, and ensemble formats. We will be playing traditional jazz compositions, as well as original arrangements.

Location: SUNY Purchase, Conservatory of Music, Room 0081, 735 Anderston Hill Road, Purchase, NY. 10577, 914-251-6000

Time: 7:00 PM

Details: Drummer John Hubbell presents his Master of Music recital which features a quartet. We will be playing traditional jazz compositions, however it will be approached creatively, with a sense of innovation.

Location: The Kingston High School, 403 Broadway Kingston, NY 12401, (845) 331-1970

Time: 3:30 PM

Details: Kingston City Schools Jazz Bands are pleased to be hosting a very exciting Jazz musical event in our local community to honor the importance of jazz music in American Culture. We are thrilled to present our guest artist, John Mosca, who is one of the most respected instrumentalists in the world, a brilliant soloist, and one of the best jazz trombonists ever to grace the scene. John is a graduate of Juilliard, and has been actively involved in jazz education for over twenty years. He has served on the faculties of numerous university jazz programs including the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, and The University of Connecticut. John has appeared in numerous ensembles and on many records with such great artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn, Joe Williams and Stan Getz. For more than thirty years, he has played with the Grammy award nominated, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, formerly the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, and currently serves as its director. He has also performed with countless Broadway musicals and has appeared in the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. The Hudson Valley Jazz Orchestra (HVJO) is co-directed by Dan and Bob Shaut. HVJO consists of some of the best professional jazz musicians in the Hudson Valley and metro NYC area. Though in its infancy, the HVJO is becoming a premiere ensemble showcasing the high quality of musical talent found within our Hudson Valley while highlighting the national heritage of America?s music. The HVJO?s main function is to be a domestic ambassador of the American art form of jazz through education and performance. April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). JAM is designed by the Smithsonian Institute to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage. In addition, JAM is intended to stimulate the current jazz scene and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz. The Kingston Jazz Invitational is daylong series of workshops, master-classes, rehearsals and performances for our local middle and high school students that will pair student ensembles/musicians with the professional jazz musicians of the Hudson Valley Jazz Orchestra. Students from all four Kingston schools? jazz bands attend and all local schools have been invited to participate in this event. The day culminates with a performance of the Hudson Valley Jazz Orchestra at 3:30 pm. The concert is open to the public. Admission: $10 General. Tickets will be available at the door. Email dshaut@kingstoncityschools.org to reserve tickets. The Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble, the premier jazz band in Kingston Schools, has achieved numerous awards over the past 12 years including; 5 consecutive years of achieving the highest level rating (gold with distinction) at the highest level of music (level 6) at New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA.) The JE has been selected to perform at the two largest music conferences in New York State?NYSSMA and NYSBDA. The KHS Jazz Ensemble has performed at countless community events and fundraisers including (but not limited to); Alzheimer?s Association, Kingston Hospital ICU, The Linda Young Ovarian Cancer Support Program, Lion?s Club, Catskill Ballet and the Palmer Center. In 2009 the Jazz Ensemble was selected as a finalist in the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The JE was selected from over 1,000 high school jazz bands in North America that began the competition. The KHS Jazz Ensemble under the direction of retired director Bob Shaut had the honor of working with Wynton Marsalis and the entire Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Kingston?s Cool?s Jazz Festival is the culminating presentation of the jazz program. The Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band, M.C. Miller Jazz Band and J.W. Bailey Jazz Ensemble will perform in the KHS auditorium at 7 pm on Thursday, April 19. Suggested Donation: $5 general admission and $3 student/senior citizen. This event is made possible by the generosity of the Rosendale Music Festival.

I will be performing with my trio from 8:30 - 11:30. We will play 3 sets with breaks in between. Great food and great vibe here, so please come enjoy yourself!