Don’t-Miss Database: Qwest TV EDU

Screenshot of Qwest TV EDU database landing page

Post contributed by Laura Williams, Head of the Music Library.

Qwest TV EDU is a video streaming channel showcasing Black music and global sounds. Created by music legend Quincy Jones, the database features a wide range of musical genres and styles, including jazz, the blues, soul, funk, world music, electronic music, classical music, and much more.

Why Should You Use This?

Qwest TV provides several major categories to explore in its catalog, including concerts, documentaries, and a rich trove of archival material with showstopping performances by legendary artists. Videos in Qwest TV span historic recordings from the 1950s right up to the present day, showcasing the storied history of musical styles and influences around the world.

The archive features some extraordinary live performances, including a 1963 Parisian concert by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald, and a 1982 performance by the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, with dazzling virtuosic solos by the young Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis.

Ella Fitzgerald Live at the Olympia, Paris (1963)
Ella Fitzgerald Live at the Olympia, Paris (1963)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live at the Village Vanguard (1982)
Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers Live at the Village Vanguard (1982)

Cool Features

One of the most interesting ways to delve into Qwest TV’s offerings is through recommendation lists created by Guest Curators who bring wide-ranging perspectives to their selections. Qwest TV also features some original content, such as Twelve Qwestions, a series of exclusive interviews. In anticipation of Gregory Porter’s visit to Duke in February 2024 through Duke Arts, you can explore his curated list of selections, a Twelve Qwestions interview, a documentary about the two-time Grammy Award-winning singer, as well as a live performance:

Gregory Porter “Liquid Spirit” -- Live at Jazz a la Villette Festival (2013)
Gregory Porter “Liquid Spirit” — Live at Jazz a la Villette Festival (2013)

Database Tips

A myriad of browsing categories connect content in a variety of interesting ways, highlighting Fresh Talents and Gems from the Vaults, as well as bringing together imaginative groupings such as Space is the Place (a celebration of spiritual jazz), the somewhat enigmatic New Ancient Strings, and an exploration of electronica in Africatronics.

One of the most exciting videos I discovered is a recent concert from the New World Symphony Orchestra conducted by William Eddins which “explores a symphonic world that influenced and was influenced by the musical heritage of the African diaspora.” Stunning performances by the orchestra and celebrated American soprano and scholar Dr. Louise Toppin are illuminated throughout by the historical commentary and insights provided by noted musicologist Dr. Tammy Kernodle, making this concert nothing short of extraordinary from both a musical and scholarly standpoint.

New World Symphony - Harlem Renaissance2023
New World Symphony – Harlem Renaissance

Similar Resources

Other related streaming databases that might be of interest are the Naxos Music Library Jazz, Smithsonian Global Sound, and EDU, which features a similar international lineup of live concerts and documentaries, but with more emphasis on classical music, opera, and ballet. You’ll find more on our Online Listening and Viewing page.


Contact Laura Williams, Head of the Music Library.