We Remember Art Blakey members: We’d like a similar festival to be organized in New York

The Koktebel Jazz Party audience has had the opportunity to see a performance by Valery Ponomaryov and the We Remember Art Blakey sextet. Today, band members Victor Jones and Stafford Hunter spoke about their impressions of the festival.

The Koktebel Jazz Party was organized at the top level, drummer Victor Jones said. "I'd like for a similar festival to be organized in New York — and not just in New York, but in the United States in general. If we have such fantastic festival there, I'll be in seventh heaven," he said.

According to Jones, the food, accommodation, transportation, stage and equipment are all worthy of praise. "Oh, and vodka, of course!" the musician joked.

He said he would like to play at the festival again. "I have always liked Russians and their music. I know that they adore and appreciate music. The music we played today was an embodiment of the rhythm that all Russians have inside them, as well as their enthusiasm. I enjoyed it immensely," Jones said, adding that the evening was unforgettable.

World-renowned trombone player Stafford Hunter also noted the excellent organization of the event. "To the organizers: If you like my performance, call me! I would like to play here again," he said.

Hunter noted the audience's exuberant reaction to the band's performance. "The crowd was spectacular — so much energy and so many emotions!" he said.

Hunter said this was his first visit to Crimea, but not the first time he's been in Russia. "I've noticed Russians adore music. This is very cool," the trombone player said.


The KoktebelJazzParty festival is a COVID-free zone. Given the difficult epidemiological situation, the terms of access to the festival may be changed, depending on the epidemiological situation in the region and the recommendations issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor).
All festival participants, guests and spectators must present at least one of the three documents listed below:

  • A negative PCR test performed not earlier than August 18, 2021
  • A certificate showing the presence of antibodies to the S-protein of COVID-19, issued not earlier than May 25, 2021
  • A COVID-19 vaccination certificate

All guests, members of the audience and media representatives must wear masks and gloves at the festival venues.