Trumpeter Valery Ponomarev performing Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing for You" with tenor saxophonist Ralph Moore, Pianist Larry Willis, Dennis Irwin on bass and Victor Jones on drums.
Valery Ponomarev worked with Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers for 4 years. With the Messengers, he performed at major concert halls, clubs, and festivals all over the world and recorded eleven record albums. He also made numerous television appearances with the Messengers in Europe, Japan, and Brazil. In the United States he has made television appearances on "To Tell The Truth," on the PBS network, National Geographic Today, and CNN. He performed at the Clifford Brown Memorial Concert in Wilmington, Delaware, 1991, which featured 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.
Mr. Ponomarev returned to Russia in 1990, the first time 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 has traveled regularly to Russia with American musicians, including 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.
On September 9, 2006, his arm was broken in an altercation with security at Charles De Gaulle International Airport. The altercation involved his intention of carrying his trumpet with him onto the plane.
Ponomarev tours with his tribute big band playing some originals and music from the "Art Blakey and 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. Many think of him as an outstanding teacher and mentor.