Jonathan Saraga

Jonathan S.

Boulder, CO
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Since 2005 I have been composing music for a wide variety of ensembles and artistic platforms. Whether it be for a choreographed dance number, brass quintet/chamber music, or jazz orchestras, I've been able to hone my arranging and scoring capabilities to enable me to adapt any song, or write my own to suit any situation.

All songs have basic building blocks that make them songs. You will become familiar with these, and learn to wield them, in order to create your own. We'll look the music of many different genres, and extrapolate what you like from each; in this way your writing, no matter what style of music it's in, will reflect a depth and character that only the best musicians throughout time have been able to achieve.

I can assist you with every aspect of music composition as it applies to any situation you are writing for, and help you to be able to write the music you are hearing in your head!
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Jonathan teaches



Jonathan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 1+ and special needs

Teaching since:
June 2009

Hi, my name is Jonathan Saraga; I’m a trumpeter, composer and music educator from New York City. I have been working as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, and studio musician for almost 2 decades and have been teaching full-time for the past 7, which includes nearly 3 at the University level.

Most of the subjects I teach are music related, in which I have nearly 10 years of Conservatory training, a Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, 2.5 years of Doctoral work, as well as over 17 years experience performing, recording, and competing on an international level. However, my interests, practices, and skillsets do extend beyond sound and visual art, and in the realm of philosophy, science, physics and spirituality.

As an artist and composer, I’ve been recognized internationally, by way of several organizations: 1st place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, finalist in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, selected-participant at the Banff International Summer Intensive Program in Jazz and Creative Music and the School of Improvisational Music Summer Intensive Program, recipient of 5 Semi-Finalist selections and 1 finalist/honorable-mention selection in the International Songwriting Competition.

As an educator, I have taught all-level/all-age group music playing and appreciation courses for several New York-based organizations: The Afro-Latin Jazz Academy, The Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York Ensemble Classes, the Lyceum Kennedy International School, Jubilee Enrichment Programs, and The New York Jazz Academy. Currently, I am finishing 6 semesters of service as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I teach multiple ensembles as well as a 100+ student History of Jazz lecture class.

I have also been practicing various forms of meditation practices and Yoga practices for the past 5 years. My influences span from Astral Projection to Reiki, to Vipassana Meditation, to Visualization Techniques, and much more. I believe and live by the idea that creativity is an energy that flows through us, and one's creative abilities can be improved and expanded, through the emotional body, which is influenced by one's perceptions. Throughout my training in music and the arts, I have realized that creative flow and love for what one is and does can be applied to anything in life.

Because of my 7+ years experience as a professional artist living in New York City, my students receive both guidance in discovering their own voice and comfort within their desired field of practice, and also practical approaches to retain and utilize their training and pre-ordained skill sets, with self-application and diligence. Through study with me, my students enable themselves to swiftly make progress and move toward a life of renewed purpose and fulfilment. Through specific assignments, exercises, and practices my students foster a real relationship with their instruments, and themselves, thus unlocking their creative minds, for usage in all aspects of their lives.

I teach out of a my home apartment studio on the upper east side, complete with weighted 88-key digital piano, Bose high quality speakers, recording equipment, as well as musical media, and tablature spanning many musical genres, cultures and time periods. I also am equipped with a spacious floor space for Yoga, Pilates, Weight Lifting, Meditation, and more. Additionally, I am able to travel to any location within the five boroughs for an additional travel fee (TBD based on location).

While I specialize in the following broad areas of musical study, my specialties are not limited to: General Music, Composition, Arranging, Ear Training, Music History (includes classical, jazz, and world musics), Music Theory, Sight Singing, and Songwriting. I also specialize in the following instruments: Trumpet, flugelhorn, and Piano/Keyboards.

I look forward to helping you realize your potential! Let's get started...

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Cumulative Experience
Jun 2009 - Present
Jonathan Saraga Music

Jon Faddis, Laurie Frink, Ray Vega, Scott Wendholt, Jim Rotondi, Jeremy Pelt, Tony Kadleck, Mike Rodriguez, Joe Magnarelli, Wynton Marsalis, Walter White, Bill Dunn, John Lambert, Conrad Herwig, Ralph Bowen, Pete Malinverni, Charles Blenzig, Jimmy Greene, Todd Coolman, Steve Wilson, Jon Gordon, Hal Galper, Brad Goode

Mulgrew Miller, Ralph Peterson, Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Greene, Tony Kadleck, Greg Gisbert, Maria Schneider, Sean Jones, Jeremy Pelt, Eric Alexander, Ambrose Akinmusirie, Jon Gordon, Jon Faddis, Scott Lee, Jeff Hirshfield, Ralph Bowen, Jim Rotondi, Michael Mossman, Brad Goode, Harish Ravhagan, Tyshawn Sorey, Renee Rosnes, Dave Stryker, Celeno Clarke, Wycliff Gordon, Arturo O'Farrill, Paquito D'Rivera, Walter White, Randy Brecker, John Mosca, Ray Vega, Conrad Herwig, Ambrose Akinmusire

Cornelia St. Café, The Douglas St. Music Collective, Seeds, The Bar Next Door, The Shapeshifter Lab, iBeam, Festival of New Trumpet Music, Smalls Jazz Club, Dazzle, Smalls Jazz Club, Jazz at the Kitano

the Blue Note Jazz Festival, The Barclays Center, St. Peter’s Church, The Knitting Factory, Perks Restaurant, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Arts Club, Symphony Space, Trumpets, the Cutting Room, Alice Tully Hall, Roulette, The Falcon, Rose Hall, Putra Indoor Stadium (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), The Blue Note (NYC), The Jazz Standard, Birdland, Jazz at the Kitano, Dizzy’s Club Coca-cola, Fat Cat, Zinc Bar, Joe’s Pub, The Hotel New Yorker, the Apollo Theater, Smalls Jazz Club, The ShapeShifter Lab, Cafe' Vivaldi, Smoke Jazz Club, Chris' Jazz Club (MA), The Painted Bride (MA)

Full Scholarship/Paid Assistantship-Doctor of Musical Arts degree- University of Colorado, Boulder (2016); 3 semi-finalist/1 finalist/1 honorable mention-International Songwriting Competition (2017); Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award-ASCAP Foundation (2016); 1 semi-finalist nomination-International Songwriting Competition (2016); Participant in Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music (2015); 1 of 2 Trumpeters Granted an Audition at the Juilliard School Artist Diploma Program in Jazz Studies (2014), 1 of 2 Trumpet Participants-School of Improvisational Music Summer Intensive Program (2009), Finalist in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition (2009), 1st Place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition (2007), Fred Mazart Music Award (2005)

Doctor of Musical Arts Degree (2016-present); Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music-Banff Center-Alberta, CA (2015); Selective Intensive Program-School of Improvisational Music-New York, NY (2009); Vermont Jazz Center Summer Jazz Camp-Burlington, VT (2007), Queens College Summer Jazz Program-New York, NY (2006); Master of Music Degree-SUNY Purchase-New York, NY (2011); Master of Music Degree-Rutgers University-Rutgers, NJ (2010); Bachelor of Music Degree-SUNY Purchase-New York, NY (2009)

Graduate Part-Time Instructor, Jazz Ensemble, History of Jazz Teacher/Professor-University of Colorado, Boulder (2016-present); Music Teacher-New York Jazz Academy, New York, NY (2017-present); Music Teacher-Afro-Latin Jazz Academy of Music, New York, NY (2012- present); Music Teacher-New York Ensemble Classes (2016); )Music Teacher-Gramercy Brass Orchestra of New York, New York, NY (2008- present); Piano, Singing and Drama Teacher-Jubilee Summer Enrichment Program, New York NY (2017); Piano Teacher-The Lesson Studio, Boulder, CO (2017-present); Piano, Trumpet, General Music Teacher-Lyceum Kennedy International School, New York, NY (2015); Departmental Assistant-SUNY Purchase, New York, NY (2010-11); Departmental Assistant-Rutgers University (2009-10)

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DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)
Aug 2016 - Present
University of Colorado, Boulder
Jazz and Creative Music
May 2015 - Present
The Banff Center
Master of Music
Sep 2010 - Jun 2011
SUNY Purchase
Improvisational Music
Jun 2010 - Jun 2010
School for Improvisational Music
Master of Music
Aug 2009 - May 2010
Rutgers University (Mason Gross School of the Arts)
Bachelor of Music
Sep 2005 - Jun 2009
SUNY Purchase
Jul 2006 - Jul 2006
Vermont Jazz Center
Jul 2003 - Jul 2003
Queens College


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Professional Proficiency


Honorable Mention/Finalist/Semi-Finalist
Nov 2017
International Songwriting Competition
Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award (ASCAP)
Feb 2016
The ASCAP Foundation
Banff International Summer Intensive Program in Jazz and Creative Music
May 2015
The Banff Center
Finalist in the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition
May 2011
Participant in the School for Improvisational Music
Jun 2010
1st Place in the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo Competition
Jul 2007
International Trumpet Guild
Fred Mazart Memorial Music Award
Sep 2005

Photos & Videos

My official YouTube channel trailer
Teaching a Master Class at PS 126/MAT in New York City

Teaching a private student in their parents' residence

Press photo 1

Press photo 2

Photo by Jonathan S.
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6 Reviews

Write a Review
Les S. May 25, 2016
Piano · In home

I would highly recommend Jonathan as a music teacher. Jonathan is absolutely passionate about music, which is evident by his enthusiastic and energetic teaching techniques. He is very patient with my five year old and encourages her to get her very best effort. Jonathan customizes the music and lessons for my daughter’s skill level while at the same time provides challenges to keep the learning process interesting. In a short period of time, my daughter's keyboard playing abilities have dramatically increased. I am very grateful to Jonathan for making learning fun for my daughter, who always looks forward to her lessons!

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Joanie May 13, 2016
Trumpet · In studio

Jonathan has made a great impression with my son. He displays a great combination of patience and encouragement with Nick. I have seen an improvement in his trumpet skills as well as his confidence.

Sonia R. Feb 25, 2016
Piano · In home



Killian D. Jan 8, 2016
Trumpet · In studio

I have been taking lessons from Jonathan for 6 months and it has been a tremendously enjoyable experience. Jonathan has an excellent methodology to teaching music which is a mixture of technical exercises and application of the theory to learning how to make music. The dual approach allows me to not only understand and appreciate the theoretical and technical aspects of learning the instrument, but also gives me the sense of fun and satisfaction that comes with applying what I learn and seeing the output in a piece of music. Jonathan is extremely knowledgeable about the technical aspects of the instrument and can break this knowledge down for easy elucidation. Overall it has been great learning experience.

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Glenn D. Jun 9, 2015
Trumpet · In home

Jonathan teaches trumpet as simply an extension of breathing. First he emphasizes good breathing and posture, and then he aligns you naturally with the instrument. By the end of the first lesson I could relax and achieve a real trumpet tone. Amazing.

Lizzie M. Feb 27, 2015
Piano · In home

Jonathan is a really good instructor as well as an accomplished musician. This is my 8 year old son's first experience with music lessons and they're a good match. He looks forward to the piano lesson and is pretty happy to do the little bits of homework after. It's been a great experience for us.

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