top of page


2023 Amsonia & Hermes Music International Composition Contest Finalist
2022 Recording Academy New York Chapter Member
2021 U.S. Air Force Academy Band Jazz/Commercial Trumpet Vacancy Finalist
2021 Unsigned Only Music Competition Semi-Finalist
2021 U.S. Navy Band Commodores Jazz Trumpet Vacancy Finalist
2021 Millay Colony for the Arts Core Residency Waitlist
2021 Downbeat Student Music Award Winner
2021 Haleakala National Park Artist in Residence Program Finalist
2021 Chashama chaNorth Artist in Residence Program Selected Resident
2020 United States Artists Grant Recipient
2020 Downbeat Student Music Award Winner
2020 Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra 4th Trumpet Chair Finalist
2020 BMI Jazz Composers Workshop Selected Participant
2020 Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation Grant Recipient
2020 Association for Popular Music Education Conference Selected Presenter
2020 International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers Commission
2020 Actors Fund/Local 802 Musicians Union Grant Recipient
2020 International Society for Improvised Music Conference Selected Presenter
2020 Recording Academy/MusiCares Grant Recipient
2020 Jazz Foundation of America Grant Recipient
2019 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Finalist
2020 University of Colorado Boulder Music Advisory Board Grant Recipient
2020 Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance Grant Recipient
2019 Banff Early Fall Musicians in Residence Program Selected Resident
2017 International Song Writing Competition Finalist/Honorable Mention
2017 International Song Writing Competition Semi-Finalist
2016 International Song Writing Competition Semi-Finalist
2016 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award Winner 
2015 Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music Selected Participant
2011 School for Improvisational Music Summer Intensive Program Selected Participant
2009 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition Finalist
2007 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition Winner


album review of "Journey to a New World"
by Troy Dostert

album review of "Journey to a New World"
by Brian Morton

album review of "Journey to a New World" by Vincent Cotro

album review of "Journey to a New World" by Raul da Gama

album review of "Journey to a New World" by Jon Neudorf

album review of "First Vision"
by Dan Bilawsky

album review of "First Vision"
by Dan McClenaghan

album review of "First Vision"

by ​Hrayr Attarian​

review of the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition​ (live performance) by Kevin Eisensmith​

review of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo Competition (live performance) by Gary Mortenson​


"Keeping it Jazzy in a Covid World with Jonathan Saraga"

Interview w/ Aaron Shragge for Festival of New Trumpet Music

Interview w/ Debbie Burke about Journey to a New World album

Interview w/ Bruce Chidester for The Trumpet Blog

Interview w/ We Are The Art

Interview w/ Talent Jungle Jonathan's Music and Meditation Class Series

Blog write-up by Fluke Productions -London

Press Quotes


"Musicians Look To Online Teaching During Uncertain Times"

"What To Stream This Week"


"...a trumpeter with a singular vision that is motherloaded by a creative force but isn't a slave to it."

-Midwest Record

"[His] music pulls from its astonishing maturity and its capacity to suggest an singular experience..."

-Jazz Magazine

"Saraga is obviously very aware of the direction of jazz in his hometown of New York..."


"Saraga's precise and passionate technique, combined with thoughtful, well- constructed compositions... rewards on a number of levels."

-All About Jazz

"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."

-All About Jazz

"When most (young) musicians try to improvise... they prattle on for many painful choruses repeating the same tired scales they learned in school which shows the listener that they had practiced their scales and learned nothing. In the case of Mr. Saraga, every note, phrase, dynamic, articulation and small nuance comes from his inner being and is effortlessly presented to his listeners with in a purely creative performance."

-The Trumpet Blog

“rising jazz superstar”

-Elicit Magazine

"I love hearing Jonathan Saraga play! He’s a gifted jazz improviser with roots in the tradition, ears in the present moment, and eyes to the future."

-John Swana

"His compositions display great personality and poise..."

-Miguel Zenon

"What pulls me into Jonathan Saraga’s music is his sound on the instrument, coupled with his sophisticated and unfolding conception – as an improvisor and as a writer.  He is, first and foremost, a melodic player; he has gathered together his early influences (e.g., Clifford Brown) and his formal studies (we won’t name check his wonderful range of teachers) and leaned into the difficult work of building a language that is at once modern and rooted firmly in tradition.  More than anything else, I keep returning to his distinctive sound – the timbre and attack on the trumpet; he is fierce technically and fluid all over the horn, but always manages to tell a story when he plays. Not for nothing, every time I hear Jonathan he is reaching for something new."
- Stephen Haynes,

"I have had the good fortune to observe Jonathan Saraga on trumpet from
his earliest years when guest clinicians would pick him out from the big band as a soloist, and who would soon become a leading voice of his generation on his instrument. But...that is only a tiny part of his story, as since then Jonathan has emerged as not only a leading jazz trumpeter but has also found his voice as a composer and arranger of large ensemble and small group compositions and arrangements. I am honored to have had a small part in his story and my reward is that I get to sit back in amazement at his continued creativity both as a player and composer/writer. What a talent!!!"

-David O'Rourke

"Jonathan is a real improvisor and has the technique to express his ideas fluently and with heart."

-Scott Lee

"Jonathan Saraga has been, from the first time I heard him play, a force. I never heard him take a solo, write a piece of music or, for that matter, have a conversation that wasn't pointed, serious and coming from a place of curiosity, interest and resolve.  As a result, he has blossomed into an artist of real depth."​

-Pete Malinverni

​"Jonathan Saraga has everything he needs to be a vital part of a new wave of trumpet players: Soul, intelligence, great technique and acute musical awareness. It's all here, in the unique writing and the inventive playing. Dig it!"​

-Jim Rotondi

​"I have long been an admirer of Jonathan’s musicianship, both as an excellent instrumentalist and a thoughtful, creative jazz improviser. Jonathan embodies what I feel is the best approach to modern jazz music: a thorough grounding in the rich tradition of the music coupled with a restless, searching spirit that seeks to express the music of now."

-Jimmy Greene

"With a fresh approach to trumpet playing and improvisation, the emerging original voice of Jonathan Saraga is one that is indeed worthy of our attention."​​

-Todd Coolman

"Jonathan is an up and coming trumpeter with a unique voice as an improviser and composer. His tone is dreamy and his solos are captivating."

-Charles Blenzig

​"Jonathan is a top-notch player. He possesses the necessary ability both as a trumpeter and a musician to lead the way forward in the jazz community.  When I listen to new young player, I look for a someone who has a progressive style that is anchored in the tradition of the music.  Jonathan already fits that model."

-Scott Wendholt

bottom of page