Valentina Ponomareva biography
Валентина Пономарёва (born 10 July 1939, Moscow) is a Russian singer, performer of romances and a jazz vocalist.
Valentina's father was the Gypsy violinist Dmitriy Ponomaryov, her mother is the Russian pianist Irina Lukashova. Valentina was born when her parents were students of the Moscow Conservatory and lived in a student dormitory. Valentina grew up among classical European and Gypsy music.
Her parents travelled a lot so Valentina studied at many schools. After she finished her school she entered the Khabarovsk Arts Institute. She studied both vocal and piano. As a student she learnt about jazz and took a great interest in it.
Valentina took external degrees and was invited to a theatre to act the part of a Gypsy singer in a dramatic play "The Living Corpse" (by Lev Tolstoy). Her role included several songs and was a great success with the audience.
In 1967 Valentina took part in the International Jazz Festival in Tallinn. There she was noticed and invited to join Anatoliy Krol's jazz-band, which was quite famous in the USSR.
In 1971 the singer left the band and became an actress in the Gypsy "Romen" theatre in Moscow. In 1973, trio "Romen" performed on stage, with Valentina as a singer. In 1973 the trio was the laureate of the USSR Variety Performers Contest.
In 1983 Valentina left trio "Romen" and worked solo. Soon, she was invited to record songs of the main female hero in the film "Cruel Romance". These songs were radio hits for many years.
In 1988 she voiced the woman in the cult animated feature film The Cat Who Walked by Herself.
Her complete recordings with the legendary Trio Romen is being re-released (2008) by Jon Larsen's Hot Club Records.