09 February 2023 Blogs, Academic, Faculty, Librarian

Exploring the evolution of jazz through Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection

Read about an exciting new collection that allows researchers to explore the evolution of jazz through streaming video — experiencing the power of live performances again and again from anyplace, at anytime

By Jodi Johnson, Associate Product Marketing Manager

The evolution of jazz is a story of musical innovation and cultural exchange, with roots in blues and ragtime that have evolved into a diverse and constantly transcending genre over the decades. For music scholars and students, it’s an essential area of research and learning. Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection is an exciting new collection that allows researchers to explore the evolution of jazz through streaming video — experiencing the power of live performances again and again from anyplace, at anytime.

Curated by Quincy Jones and Reza Ackbaralay, Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection offers a new window into the evolution of jazz and today’s modern interpretations through its focus on rare recorded live performances by renowned artists. Drawing from 20th and 21st century performances from around the world, this collection represents diverse artists in a wide range of genres, including jazz, soul, funk, hip-hop, rock, folk, electronic music and global music.

Supporting the study of icons and emerging artists

The Qwest TV Collection features an array of rare recorded live performances, including those from iconic artists like Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, as well as enthralling performances from unique musicians like Aziz Sahmaoui, who blends traditional African music with jazz influences and describes his music as "played like jazz and listened to like rock." Students and researchers can also watch performances from Baba Zula, who blends traditional Anatolian instruments such as the saz, darbouka, davul and a customized oud with rock and psychedelic elements, including distortion, wah-wah, echo and reverb. Additionally, the collection includes classic recordings from the Legends in Concert series, featuring live performances by Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole, The Temptations and others.

Bringing the live experience

With the advent of new technology, video is becoming an even more important tool for researchers, educators and music lovers. The emphasis on live performance recordings is a crucial aspect of Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection. While studio recordings are important, they don't have the same unbridled energy and feeling of a live performance. Live performances provide a more authentic and immersive experience; they allow listeners to not only hear the music, but also see and feel the energy, passion and raw emotion that artists put into their performance. The Qwest TV Collection’s live performances allow you to experience James Brown's commanding stage presence and Chaka Khan's impassioned vocals to name a few, as well as gain important cultural insights from unique world artists who are breaking the boundaries of jazz, blues, soul and rock today.

Video recordings of live performances allow researchers to study the interactions between musicians and the audience, the visual elements of a performance, such as stage presence and gestures, and the emotional and expressive aspects of music. This type of performance information can provide valuable insights into the evolution of music and the cultural context in which it was created, as well as the influence of music on society. This makes live recordings invaluable for music researchers who want to truly understand and appreciate the art of music. This collection, complete at launch, will help preserve access to 150 video titles representing hundreds of gifted artists.

An investment that lasts

One of the key benefits of Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection is its guarantee of long-term access. With exclusive perpetual rights, libraries can be confident that these videos will remain available, even if the original copyright holder no longer offers them. This means that libraries can preserve these recordings for generations of scholars to come. This is a critical factor for libraries, as live music recordings are often difficult to license and preserve.

A platform designed for academia

The collection is fully accessible on a platform built for teaching and learning. It allows for the creation and sharing of video clips with notations, integration with classroom workflows via Learning Management Systems, email links and embedded links. Users can even make personalized playlists to reference and share. The full MARC records and compatibility with discovery systems such as Primo and Summon allow for easy discovery. The collection also allows for the gauging of usage with COUNTER-compliant statistics and impactful user engagement metrics, with easy-to-understand visuals — making it an insightful resource for academic libraries and institutions.

Today’s researchers demand the power of video in academic music studies. With hard-to-find recordings of legends as well as unique world music, there are plenty of new and exciting titles to discover. The collection is a testament to the value of video in academic music studies, providing a window into the magic of live music. Whether you are an educator looking to bring live performances into your classroom, or a music student looking to deepen your understanding of jazz and its evolution, Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection is the perfect resource for experiencing the magic of live music.

Learn more about Music Online: The Qwest TV Collection, visit us here.

Jodi Johnson

Jodi Johnson

Product Marketing Manager for History and Social Change, Social Science and Performing Arts portfolios. With a profound appreciation for history and a background steeped in the arts, she fuses creativity and scholarly insight to offer compelling narratives and to delve into the historical significance behind them.

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