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Valery Ponomarev

Mr. Ponomarev worked with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers for 4 years. With the Messengers, performed at major concert halls, clubs, and festivals all over the world, recorded eleven record albums. Also made numerous television appearances with the Messengers in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. In the United States has made television appearances on "To Tell The Truth", on PBS network, National Geographic Today and on CNN.

Clifford Brown Memorial Concert, Wilmington, Delaware, 1991: featuring the music of the legendary Max Roach/Clifford Brown Quintet with Max Roach (leader) on drums, Harold Land, tenor sax, George Morrow, bass, Sam Dockery, piano, and Valery Ponomarev, trumpet.

First time Mr. Ponomarev returned to Russia in 1990 after a 17 year absence to participate in the First International Jazz Festival in Moscow along with many of the world's greatest jazz superstars. Since then Mr. Ponomarev regularly travels to Russia with American musicians, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Bobbie Watson, James “Sid” Simmons, Bradford Leali, Vincent Lewis, Byron & Robert Landham, Sean McGloin, Evelyn Blakey, joining local stars for concerts and tours of the major cities in Siberia, Moscow and St Petersburg. As a solo artist, Mr. Ponomarev has completed two tours of Australia, China and numerous European tours, including a special tour with Harold Land featuring the music of Clifford Brown. He was also featured as a European superstar at the Charlie Parker in Paris Festival.

Valery has also played concerts with Benny Golson, featuring Mr. Golson's music.

Mr. Ponomarev is a current member of the memorial “Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers” band led by Mr. Golson.

Mr. Ponomarev is frequently heard as a sideman in live performances and recordings.

Featured in the movie "Frozen In Amber" a documentary about the contributions of Russian ex-patriots to art and the performing arts in the USA. “Messenger from Russia” a documentary by independent producer Jason Scadron about Valery Ponomarev’s life was aired on the National Geographic Today channel for the first time in March 2002 and most recently in January 30th & 31st 2003.

Included in many publications including: Oxford University Press, the Grove Encyclopedia of Music, Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD by Richard Cook & Brian Morton, All Music Guide to Jazz, Hard Bop Academy by Alan Goldsher, Top Brass by Bob Bernotas, Trumpet Kings by Scott Yanow and many other.

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3
Album Review

Valery Ponomarev Jazz Big Band: Our Father Who Art Blakey

Read "Our Father Who Art Blakey" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Who is Russian-born trumpeter Valery Ponomarev's favorite musician? A clue may be found in the title of Ponomarev's first CD as leader of his New York City-based big band: Our Father Who Art Blakey. The first jazz recording he heard while still in Russia, Ponomarev recalls, was Blakey's Jazz Messengers with trumpeter Lee Morgan playing pianist Bobby Timmons' jazz touchstone, “Moanin.'" Later on, Ponomarev was able to play that song (and many others) as a member of the Messengers in ...

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Book Review

On The Flip Side of Sound

Read "On The Flip Side of Sound" reviewed by Russ Musto


On The Flipside of Sound Valery Ponomarev Softcover; 316 pages ISBN: 1438970463 ArtistHouse 2010

Valery Ponomarev's autobiographical tome tells the fascinating tale of the life of a working jazz musician from a uniquely personal perspective. The Moscow-born trumpeter, who became the first native of his country to achieve jazz fame in the United States when he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, narrates his life story with wit and ...

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Album Review

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Read "Beyond The Obvious" reviewed by Ken Franckling


Beyond The Obvious is ex-Jazz Messenger Valery Ponomarev's seventh CD as a leader for Reservoir. His Means of Identification, recorded in 1985, was the label's debut release. Beyond The Obvious stands apart from the six prior (all quintet) sessions in terms of its instrumental format. It's out at a time when the Russian-born trumpeter is in the news for a troubling incident. In mid September, Ponomarev reportedly had his arm broken by Charles DeGaulle Airport security after refusing to relinquish ...

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Album Review

Valery Ponomarev: Beyond The Obvious

Read "Beyond The Obvious" reviewed by Nic Jones


Here's one of those rare cases where a title is relevant to the music. As an ex-member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Valery Ponomarev's name might lead many readers to believe he has his sights firmly set on some form of hard bop heaven. But that's not the case with this programme, which takes in compositions by both Billy Strayhorn and Ornette Coleman.

The absence of a piano gives the music a wide open feel, and both Ponomarev (trumpet) and ...

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Album Review

Valery Ponomarev: The Messenger

Read "The Messenger" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


It’s been quite some time since Russian trumpeter Valery Ponomarev defected from his native land in order to play jazz in America. Landing a gig with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers almost immediately, Ponomarev has gone on to practice the jazz tradition while being documented on a distinguished series of dates for the Reservoir label. Clearly, the affection that Ponomarev has for Blakey is still palpable owing to the title of his latest endeavor. The Messenger is indeed hard ...

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Album Review

Valery Ponomarev: The Messenger

Read "The Messenger" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Valery Ponomarev’s latest release, The Messenger, reminds us that he still is a leading jazz trumpet player who has remained consistent through his years on the scene. His tone is still as bright as ever, and his licks are entirely appropriate for the solos he improvises, and his presence elevates the sidemen who work with him. Even though he doesn’t seem to call his group Universal Language any longer, Ponomarev’s style still is one that makes use of music as ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Beyond The Obvious

Reservoir Music
2006

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The Messenger

Reservoir Music
2001

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Profile

Reservoir
1991

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Means Of...

Reservoir
1987

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