Valery Ponomarev Quintet

This article is from 2009.

Valery Ponomarev

Sharing A Global Language


It’s late August, it’s The Jazz Bar, so it must be time for Valery Ponomarev. The hard-hitting Russian has been coming to Scotland on a regular basis since the early 90s, and this Fringe residence for Bill Kyle has become something of a staple at The Jazz Bar, and at the old Tron Jazz Cellar before that.

The trumpeter will be hoping to make the visit without a repeat of the incident in which he sustained a broken arm in an altercation with security at Charles De Gaulle Airport in 2006, after he refused to consign his precious trumpet to the hold.

Ponomarev famously defected from his native Russia – then still part of the Soviet Union – in 1973, and made his name in his new homeland of America when he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Some were surprised to hear a Russian musician playing canonical American hard bop like a native, but Ponomarev’s extensive touring around the world has confirmed his contention that jazz is now a global musical language.

The Jazz Bar, 226 0000, 24–30 Aug 2009, 11pm, £8 (£6).

Valery Ponomarev Quintet

The famous New York based trumpeter escaped from Cold War Russia in the 70s, then toured the world with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for four years. This dynamic, powerful quintet features Scottish sax star Konrad Wiszniewski.

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