Born: January 20, 1943 Primary Instrument: Trumpet
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.