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
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.
Dream World Live (Preview)
Dream World Live (Preview)Dreams can bring us to the most incredible places; real places, that we could never experience in the waking state. Places that stimulate our higher being, and higher consciousness. The project I intend to create features a suite of music, in celebration of the majesty and intrigue of this phenomenon, while also sonically illustrating the journey of a human soul-from its innocent emergence into this world, all the way through until its transformation into the next stage of its existence. The listener will be experiencing their own dream film score, if you will. The music is all original, arranged for 12-piece ensemble (flute, oboe, trumpet, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, piano, guitar, and drums) with conductor, featuring 7 movements that span a 45-50 minute period. The musical styles/genres most influential draw from classical music, film scores, video game music, creative/improvised music, and ambient music. The story, while relatable will also simulate the expansion and freedom the dream world provides. I believe that the combination of depth and relatability combined with the originality of the musical process will yield an unforgettable experience for audiences.
EnchantmentI first starting writing "Enchantment" in 2014, and it since has undergone several editings and has been arranged to suite many different ensemble-types. The one thing that has remained constant, however, is the mystical and magical fairy-tale like setting it is meant to portray. Jonathan Saraga (flugelhorn/composition) Darryl Gott (alto sax/flute) Otto Lee (tenor sax) David Smith (trombone) Matt Michaud (guitar) Walter Gorra (piano) Mike Facey (bass) Zach Ritchie (drums) CU Boulder Thompson Jazz Studies Jazz Combo directed by Jeff Jenkins Recorded in December of 2016 at Mighty Fine Productions, Denver CO Cover art by Charlotte Joan Sternberg
First Vision (Album Preview)
First Vision (Album Preview)BUY ALBUM: https://www.jonathansaraga.com/firstvision My debut album, "First Vision", has been featured as part of the All About Jazz's Contest Giveaway sweepstakes, and in their Download of the Day series. AAJ has deemed the album "skillfully conceived, exquisitely realized, artfully orchestrated", and that it "breathes spontaneous creativity." They go on to say that it features "stellar trumpet work, intriguing tunes, strong group chemistry," and hail it as "a stand-up-and-take-notice offering." They have even compared it to the music of Dave Douglas, Miles Davis, John Zorn and the Blue Note records of the early 1960s. Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer Jimmy Greene calls it “engaging, tuneful, urgent modern jazz played at a very high level by young, masterful musicians, and acclaimed saxophonist Jon Gordon notes the "highly creative playing and writing throughout the CD, all done within a strong and fresh ensemble concept." This compilation features some of the strongest scored and improvised passages from the album. It provides a scope of the variety of sonic landscapes inherent to my small group writing, and a taste of the group's improvisational prowess. This compilation features some of the strongest scored and improvised passages from the album, and provides a scope of the variety of sonic landscapes inherent to my small group writing. Personnel: Jonathan Saraga (trumpet/flugelhorn/compositions/arrangements), Colin Gordon (alto saxophone), Peter Park (guitar), Jeff Dingler (bass), Gusten Rudolph (drums) Produced by Jonathan Saraga Executive Producer: Chris Devito Global Release Date: March 31, 2015 by Blue Truffle Music LLC Cover art by Jonathan Saraga
Search For Truth
Search For Truth"Search for Truth" is a piece I composed in 2015 and since has become a staple of my ensemble repertoire. I wrote it in honor of the type of quest I attempt to pursue while in this life — the desire to move toward my purpose and away from illusion, and misdirection. Personnel: Jonathan Saraga (trumpet/composition), Lexi Nomikos (saxophone), Jonathan Zimny (trombone), Dave Corbus (guitar), Leo Arguello (bass), Zach Ritchie (drums) Recorded in December 2017 at Mighty Fine Studios, Denver CO Cover art by unknown
You Raise Me Up
You Raise Me UpRolf Løvland and Brendan Graham's song "You Raise Me Up", made popular by Josh Groban has been a source of strength and inspiration for many years. I decided to arrange the song in 2018 and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to record it with these wonderful musicians. Personnel: Jonathan Saraga (trumpet/arrangement), Lexi Nomikos (saxophone), Brian Woodbury (trombone), Adam Hernandez (guitar), Annie Booth (piano), Leo Arguello (bass), Michael D'Angelo (drums) Recorded in December 2018 at Mighty Fine Studios, Denver CO Engineered by Colin Bricker
The Reiki Practitioner
The Reiki Practitioner"The Reiki Practitioner" was originally written for quintet, and was actually featured on my debut album, "First Vision". What started as a small group original work has since been arranged for jazz orchestra, and has been performed by ensembles such as the Eco-Music Big Band led by multi-award winning bandleader, Marie Incontrera, the United States Army Blues Big Band, and the University of Colorado, Boulder Concert Jazz Ensemble. Recorded in April 2019 at Mighty Fine Studios, Denver CO Engineered by Colin Bricker Saxophones Lexi Nomikos Rhiannon Dewey Wyatt Wear Michael Gutierrez Jake Conway Trumpets Jonathan Saraga Joey Blunk Erik Ondrejko Aaron MacGilvray Sonya Walker Trombones Brian Woodbury Matteo Bassani Allison Orthel Bryan Powell Rhythm Section Adam Hernandez, guitar Annie Booth, piano Leo Arguello, bass Michael D'Angelo, drums Rocco Williams, vibes Cover art by Jonathan Saraga
Journey to a New World (Album Preview)
Journey to a New World (Album Preview)BUY ALBUM: https://www.jonathansaraga.com/journeytoanewworld My second album as a leader, 'Journey to a New World' (Fresh Sound New Talent/2017), features a track that received the 2016 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award (ASCAP Foundation), 4 tracks that received semi-finalist nominations in the 2016 International Songwriting Competition, and 1 track that received finalist/Honorable Mention in the 2017 competition. In addition to peaking at 65/200 in Jazz Week, 'Jazz Journal' (UK) calls it "intriguing", and that it "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", and MacArthur-fellow, saxophonist and composer Miguel Zenon, hails it to be "impressive", "very focused(,) and well conceived." This compilation features some of the strongest scored and improvised passages from the album. It provides a scope of the variety of sonic landscapes inherent to my small group writing, as well as a taste of the group's improvisational prowess. Personnel: Jonathan Saraga (trumpet/compositions/arrangements), Remy Le Boeuf (alto sax), Aki Ishiguro (guitar), Chris Pattishall (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Kenneth Salters (drums). Recording Engineer: Peter Karl Mastering by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording Produced by Jonathan Saraga Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol Cover photo by Tayla Nebesky
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 email@example.com 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!