Manhattan, NYC native, trumpeter and composer Jonathan Saraga has been said by All About Jazz to possess the musical “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."
Jonathan's professional music career officially began in 2002 when he was cast as an orchestral trumpeter in the Paramount film, Changing Lanes. That same year he would begin performing at the Jazz Standard with the Jazz Standard Youth Orchestra, which he went on to do, once a month, for the next three years. Having acquired necessary professional and artistic skills during that period, Jonathan began recording as a sideman in 2005, and has since recorded on nearly 30 albums.
That same year, after performing at the National Arts Club, Jonathan received the Fred Mazart Music Award and began pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at SUNY Purchase. Two years later, he would compete in the 2007 International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo Competition, and win. Shortly after receiving his B.M., Jonathan competed again, this time as one of five finalists in the 2009 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition. Upon starting the pursuit of his master’s degree in 2010, he would travel to Kuala- Lumpur Malaysia to perform at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) awards, and once back in NYC, at the Blue Note Jazz Festival. After receiving his Master of Music degree in 2011, Saraga became one of two trumpeters selected from an international pool to participate in the School for Improvisational Music summer intensive program.
The next year, in 2012, Jonathan self-released his debut album, First Vision, at Smalls Jazz Club in NYC. All About Jazz called it "a skillfully conceived and exquisitely realized debut that brings to mind the edgy, envelope-pushing hard bop of many a Blue Note record in the early 1960s." They even hailed it as a "stand up and take notice musical offering," and spoke of its "rare blend of individuality and maturity." World-renowned trumpeter Jim Rotondi deemed Jonathan's playing on the album as "unique" and "inventive", and said that it breaths "soul, intelligence, great technique and acute musical awareness." The album received air-play throughout the east- coast on stations like 90.3 FM the Core, Weaa 88.9, BreakThru Radio's show the Jazz Hole, www.jamcityamerica.net, and Pulin4Jazz. A few years later, in 2014, it was re-released on the Blue Truffle Music record label.