(Pictured above: Quincy Jones on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.’ Source: YouTube screenshot)
Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger Quincy Jones is launching “the world’s first subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) platform dedicated to jazz and jazz-inspired music forms.”
Qwest TV, which Jones is forming in collaboration with French television producer and music programmer Reza Ackbaraly, plans to debut this fall and offer video content in HD or 4K. Subscription plans will start at $7.49 a month.
Within its first three years, Qwest TV says it will acquire 1,000 titles featuring live performances from a wide variety of jazz artists.
“The dream of Qwest TV is to let jazz and music lovers everywhere experience these incredibly rich and diverse musical traditions in a whole new way,” Jones said. “I believe that a hundred years from now … people … will view Bird, Miles and Dizzy, as our Mozarts, Bachs, Chopins and Tchaikovskys, and it is my hope that Qwest TV will serve to carry forth and build on (that) great legacy.”
“By bringing Qwest TV to the general public and to universities everywhere, we seek to promote the values inherent to jazz: hard work, diversity, openness towards others, mutual respect and consideration, cooperation, and improvisation,” said Ackbaraly, who ran the New Jazz & World Music department at the French cable channel Mezzo.
The new venture also involves a big crowdsourcing/grassroots publicity effort. Pre-launch Qwest TV subscriptions will be introduced September 6 on Kickstarter.
The first 1,500 “co-founding subscribers” will have the chance to help “develop Qwest TV before the roll out of the service in the fall” by providing feedback and making feature requests. They will also receive a full year of Qwest TV premium. In addition, such swag as t-shirts, posters, headphones, concert tickets and records signed by Jones will be available, but only during the pre-launch campaign.
The producers did not reveal the cost of becoming a co-founder subscriber.
In the meantime, for updates about the launch – and the chance to win 60 days of Qwest TV’s “premium” service — you can sign up now for the Qwest TV newsletter.
Below, Jones talks to Stephen Colbert about growing up in Chicago in the 1930s:
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