I've been working as a trumpeter, composer, arranger, and studio musician for almost 2 decades and have been teaching privately and/or publicly for the past 7, including 3 at the University level. I have nearly a full decade of conservatory training, including 3 degrees (Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, Doctor of Musical Arts), as well as over 20 years experience performing, recording, and competing on an international level.
Some of the 30+ awards I've received over the course of my career include: 2007-winner of International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, 2009-finalist in Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition, 2011-selected participant in School for Improvisational Music summer intensive program, 2015-selected Participant in Banff International summer intensive program, 2016-semifinalist in International Songwriting Competition, 2016-recipient of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, 2017-honorable mention/finalist in International Songwriting Competition, 2016-19-full scholarship w/ paid assistantship/instructorship for Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado Boulder, 2019-selected participant in Banff Early Fall Musicians in Residence program, 2019-finalist in Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works Grant Competition, 2020-selected presenter at the International Society for Improvised Music conference (Melbourne, AU), 2020-selected presenter at the Association for Popular Music Education (APME) conference (Edinburgh Napier University-Edinburgh, Scotland), 2021-selected participant in Chashama chaNorth's Artist in Residence program, 2021-semifinalist in Unsigned Only Music Competition, 2021-finalist in Haleakala National Park Artist in Residence program, 2021-waitlist for Millay Colony of the Art’s Core Residency program, 2021-selected participant in BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, 2022-selected member of the Recording Academy's New Member Class (New York Chapter).
Besides professing a passion and skillset for music within the ‘jazz’ idiom, my interest in and usage of sound draws from and many other forms of art. I've composed, arranged and produced music for lyricists and singer-songwriters and have provided musical accompaniment for dance classes, workshops, and performances presented by the Firehouse Space, Martha Graham Dance Academy, the Jeoffrey Ballet School and Spoke the Hub. I've also served as musical artist at the New Life Expo and as a musical aid for art exhibitions, including a Syrian-post war realist art exhibition presented by ChaShaMa. In addition, I have presented sound for Yoga classes at Jivamukti and the Three Jewels, yoga studios, as well as meditation classes for WeWork, St. Peter's Church at the Citicorp Center, The Tibet House, Triskelion Arts, Greenpoint Art Gallery, the Jewish Community Center, the New York Insight Meditation Center, and the NYU Skirball Theater.
I specialize in the following areas of applied musical study: Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Composition/Songwriting, Arranging, Music Theory, Sight Reading, Ear Training, Music Appreciation, and Music History (includes classical, jazz, and world musics). 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, audio and video recording equipment, as well as musical media and sheet music spanning many musical genres, cultures and time periods.
We can also work on physical posture and approaches, technical approaches, placement & usage of equipment, science of musculature, thoughts & mental energy, breathing & physical energy, presence, creative flow, music theory, music history, memorization, repertoire, etiquette, tone/sound development, concept and voice, sight reading, sight singing, use of space, style, development of voice, breath work, air control, pitch, ear training, emotional control, solo structure, patterns, fragments, & shapes, harmonic manipulation and movement, melodic construction, harmony, chord study, music notation, phrasing, rhythm, transcription, composition, arranging, fingerings/scales, vocabulary, improvisation, articulation, range, dynamic control, and advanced/extended techniques.
Professional Musician at Jonathan Saraga Music
I have worked as a trumpeter on behalf of acclaimed artists and organizations such as Brass Against, the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, the Birdland Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the Jimmy Greene Big Band, Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows Orchestra, the Terraza Big Band, the Valery Ponomarev Big Band, Manuel Valera’s New Cuban Express Big Band, the Samuel Torres Big Band, the Jihye Lee Jazz Orchestra, the Hyeseon Hong Jazz Orchestra, the Tracy Yang Jazz Orchestra, the Erica Seguine/Shannon Baker Jazz Orchestra, the Migiwa Miyajima Jazz Orchestra, Tyshawn Sorey, Steve Coleman, Henry Cole and Festival of New Trumpet Music. I have been performing throughout New York City for over a decade, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, the Barclay's Center, Dizzy's Club Coco-Cola, Rockefeller Center, the Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Birdland and the Jazz Standard to name a few. I have also performed within Malaysia, Europe, Haiti, Canada and throughout the Caribbean.
As an educator, I have taught all-level/all-age group music playing and appreciation courses for the following 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, Jazz Empowers and the New York Jazz Academy. I have also completed 6 semesters of service as a Graduate Part-Time Instructor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where I taught multiple playing ensembles as well as three semesters of a Jazz History lecture class. I have also been teaching privately consistently for over a decade and have accumulated 30+ 5-star reviews.