A trumpeter, composer, and educator, Dr. Daniel Jonas is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combos, and teaches all jazz curriculum. He also teaches Music Theory, Jazz History, History of Rock and Roll, and Trumpet. His prior teaching experience includes Sacramento State University (Jazz Trumpet, Jazz History, and Jazz Pedagogy), Cosumnes River College (Trumpet), and McLaughlin Studios (Brass).
A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dr. Jonas received his D.M.A. in Jazz Studies from the University of Colorado in 2013, where he studied with Brad Goode and Dr. John Davis. While a student at the University of Colorado, Dr. Jonas was chair of the Coalition for Creative Music, a student group that presented concerts featuring notable jazz artists including Dave Douglas, John Swana, Jane Ira Bloom, Gretchen Parlato, and many others. In 2005, Dr. Jonas earned a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from DePaul University and studied under Dr. Robert Lark, and in 2007 he earned a Performance Certificate with a focus in Jazz Composition, studying with Thomas Matta. Dr. Jonas graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in Trumpet Performance, studying with Glenn Kostur and Jeff Piper.
In addition to his educational pedigree, Dr. Jonas performs often in and around the Salt Lake City area. He can be heard performing regularly with the Night Star Jazz Orchestra and the gypsy jazz band Hot House West, in addition to leading the house band at the Jazz Jam at the Kaffe Mercantile in Ogden. He has also performed with and accompanied Maria Schneider, Dave Liebman, Jon Faddis, Nnenna Freelon, Andy Laverne, Nick Smart, Bobby Shew, Butch Miles, Phil Woods, Slide Hampton, Jim McNeely, Denis DiBlasio, Steve Wiest, James Moody, Marvin Stamm, Randy Hamm, Walter White, Ernie Watts, Dave Pietro, Jeff Jarvis, John Fedchock, Chris Vadala, The New York Voices, Jim Pugh, Shelly Berg, Ed Soph, Maynard Ferguson, Aretha Franklin and many others. A lead trumpeter and soloist, Dr. Jonas has performed with numerous professional groups around the country, including the Albuquerque Jazz Orchestra, the Sacramento Jazz Orchestra, the Cunha Big Band, the Mike Butera Big Band, the Colorado Composers Big Band, the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, the Buddy Project Big Band, the Michael Lerich Orchestra, Bob Lark’s Alumni Big Band, and the Andrew Stonerock Quintet. He has also performed as a featured guest artist at several festivals including the Kinser Jazz Festival, the New Mexico Music Educator’s Association All-State Conference, the Midwest Clinic, and the Telluride Jazz Festival, and many others. International performing credits include touring northern Italy with the DePaul Jazz Ensemble in 2005 and touring Guatemala as part of the Guatemala Jazz Festival in 2015 and 2016.
Dr. Jonas recently recorded an album of all of his own original compositions entitled The Spirituality Suite, released in 2019. He also appears on the album Django in Orbit, recently released by Hot House West. Among Dr. Jonas's other recording credits are several albums released on the Jazzed Media label, including the albums Reunion and Sweet Return by Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band, and That Being Said by the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble featuring Jim McNeely, which includes Dr. Jonas's composition "Platitude." Other albums on which Dr. Jonas has appeared include Swingchronicity by the DePaul University Jazz Ensemble with Phil Woods and Fandango by the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony featuring Phil Smith and Joe Alessi. Dr. Jonas can also be heard on the album Pavlov's Waterfall by the Andrew Stonerock Quintet. He continues to maintain an active career as a composer, including an arrangement that can be heard on the album The DePaul University Jazz Ensemble with Jeff Hamilton Salutes Woody Herman.