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Netflix for Jazz? Digital Concerts and Films

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Monday December 11, 2017

From The New York Times

Netflix for Jazz? Quincy Jones’s Qwest TV Takes Concerts and Films Digital
By: Giovanni Russonello

For much of jazz’s history, devotees discovered music over the radio airwaves and in library stacks, rooting out old LPs or videos to borrow and sample. Today, a lot of that exploration happens online — particularly on YouTube. Most major albums have found their way onto that streaming platform, as have concert bootlegs, studio sessions and old documentaries that were once impossible to track down.

Now a new video platform is seeking to raise the bar, offering a curated library of high-quality video content from across the jazz world. Quincy Jones, the jazz musician and impresario, is helping to start Qwest TV, an online library of concert videos and feature documentaries, most of them unavailable on YouTube or any other streaming site.

When it goes live on Dec. 15, Qwest will feature 50 videos, most from 30 to 90 minutes long, including a documentary on Al Jarreau, the virtuoso vocalist who died this year; and concert films featuring the pianist Jason Moran and his trio, the jazz-rock fusion band Kneebody and the Malian vocalist Oumou Sangaré. Subscribers will also have access to “The Sound of New York,” a 10-part series originally serialized in Italy, that features half-hour portraits of musicians like Damion Reid, Mark Turner and Bilal.

After the service goes live on Dec. 15, a new video will be posted each day for the rest of the month, with more added on a monthly basis starting in January. Each clip will be accompanied by an editorial description, written by a journalist or historian. And each month a different guest curator will help select a sampling of new videos.

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