Valery Ponomarev

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Valery Ponomarev, Russian: Вале́рий Миха́йлович Пономарёв, Valery Mikhaylovich Ponomaryov, (born 1943) is a Russian-born jazz trumpeter.[1] He has lived in the United States since 1973.

Ponomarev became interested in jazz after hearing it on Voice of America, and felt a particular affinity for Clifford Brown. He dedicated countless hours to transcribing, studying and memorizing legendary jazz trumpet solos. In time he decided to flee the then Soviet Union and ended up joining Art Blakey's group The Jazz Messengers. After leaving, he formed his own band, Universal Language.

On September 9, 2006, his arm was broken in an altercation with security at Charles de Gaulle Airport.[2] The altercation involved his intention of carrying his trumpet with him onto the plane.

Ponomarev tours with his tribute big band, playing both originals and music from the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers repertoire. He teaches privately, and released his autobiographical book On The Flip Side of Sound in 2009. He teaches as part of the Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens program in Newark, New Jersey.


As leader[edit]

  • BEYOND THE OBVIOUS - with Don Braden, Martin Zenker and Jerome Jennings, Reservoir Records 2006
  • THE MESSENGER - with Michael Karn, Sid Simmons, Martin Zenker and Jimmy Cobb, Reservoir Records 2001
  • A STAR for YOU - with Bob Berg, Sid Simmons, Ken Walker and Billy Hart, Reservoir Records 1997
  • LIVE at VARTAN JAZZ - with Francesco Bearsetti, Sid Simmons, Kenny Walker and Ben Riley, Vartan Jazz 1995
  • LIVE at SWEET BASIL - with John Hicks, Peter Washington, Don Braden and, Victor Jones, Reservoir Records 1993
  • PROFILE - with Joe Henderson, Kenny Barron, Essiet Essiet and Victor Jones, Reservoir Records 1991
  • TRIP to MOSCOW - Universal Language, Reservoir Records 1988
  • MEANS of IDENTIFICATION - with Ralph Moore, Hideki Takao, Dennis Irwin and Kenny Washington, Reservoir Records 1987

As sideman[edit]

With Art Blakey


  1. ^ Валерий Пономарёв (in Russian). Jazz.Ru. Retrieved 5 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Carvajal,Doreen. "A Trumpet, a Struggle, and a Musician’s Broken Arm", The New York Times, October 10, 2006.

External links[edit]