Producer Quincy Jones, in partnership with TV producer Reza Ackbaraly from France, has announced plans to launch a new subscription video-on-demand platform called Qwest TV – which will present interviews, concerts and documentaries to be viewed online via tablets, computers, smartphones and perhaps television. The press release describes the musical focus as jazz and beyond and a perusal of the scheduled documentaries and concerts confirms that stated direction. The company is running a Kickstarter campaign to sign up pre-subscribers to the service.
According to the press release, among the documentaries that Qwest TV will air are:
- Al Jarreau “Bring you to the stage” (Thierry Guedj, 2016)
- Letter to Michel Petrucciani (Frank Cassenti,1981)
- Attica Blues – 40 years later… (Lola Frederich et Marton Sarrazac, 2012)
- Paco de Lucia “Light and Shade” (Michael Meert, 1994
- Quincy Jones & friends feat. George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jacob Collier, SWR Big Band (Jazz Open, 2017)
- Oumou Sangare (Jazz sous les pommiers, 2017)
- Cory Henry and the funk apsotles (Jazz à Vienne, 2017
- Paris Jazz Festival : Lee Konitz & Bill Evans (Palais de la Mutualité, Paris, 1967)
Among the archival TV shows that Qwest TV will replay are:
- Manu Dibango (Musicalmente con, 1983)
- Sonny Rollins masterclass (Paris, 1981)
- Milton Nascimento (Musicalmente con, 1981)
Qwest has received numerous testimonials of support from noted musicians, including Marcus Miller, Cory Henry, Gilles Peterson, Jacob Collier, Questlove, Gregory Porter, Erik Truffaz, Robert Glasper, Mark Guiliana, Richard Bona, Archie Shepp, Jason Lindner, Tony Allen, Kyle Eastwood, Kamasi Washington, Marshall Allen, Roy Ayers, Terrace Martin and many others.
There has not been a full-fledged television channel dedicated to jazz since BET launched its BET on Jazz cable channel in the early 1990’s. That channel struggled to get distribution at local cable providers and eventually it was folded into one or more of Viacom’s many channels, with much of the jazz programming it produced sent into the archives.
Jones’ record label Qwest released many jazz recordings over the years and most recently released, in partnership with Mack Avenue, the debut recording of Cuban jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez.
No timetable was provided for the launch of Qwest TV.