Cassie Kinoshi of SEED Ensemble (left) and jazz tuba player Theon Cross are among the performers taking part in The Master Sessions, an innovative collaboration between audio technology companies Bluesound and MQA and music organizations Jazz re:freshed and British Underground. (Photo: Courtesy Bluesound)
Experiencing live jazz concerts in high-resolution audio becomes a reality in 2020 through an innovative collaboration between the premium audio brand Bluesound and the pioneering music technology company MQA. These leaders in high-fidelity audio have teamed up with two influential music organizations, Jazz re:freshed and British Underground, to present The Master Sessions.
The Master Sessions is a series of live concerts, streamed in real-time using MQA sound, to over 100 audio retailers around the world through Bluesound’s premium hi-res audio players including the Node 2i and PowerNode 2i. Jazz fans are invited to share in the live audio experiences like no other, featuring some of the UK’s leading jazz acts performing from renowned studio locations.
To mark the campaign launch, a dedicated microsite, TheMasterSessions.com, has been published with full details on the participants and activities.
The collaboration brings together a powerful partnership of experts and tastemakers in the music and technology worlds with two shared objectives: To promote skilled artists and help them reach a wider audience and to articulate the power of pioneering audio technology and create better listening experiences.
A brace of live events sits at the heart of the campaign, one U.K.-based, the other to be held in the United States during the annual SXSW festival. On February 5, the first of those events — a performance by the Mercury Prize-nominated SEED Ensemble — took place live at London’s British Grove Studios.
Later in the year, rising star Theon Cross will play live at Orb Recording Studios in Austin, Texas. Music fans will be invited to visit a local Bluesound dealership to experience the concerts, streamed in real-time on a Bluesound powered sound system and in MQA studio-quality audio. (Note: Cross’ performance was originally scheduled to take place on March 19, 2020. The concert is now expected to take place in September. Bluesound will make an official announcement on the rescheduled concert date shortly.)
“As accomplished live musicians, the idea that high-resolution audio technologies like Bluesound and MQA can offer a studio experience at home was something both SEED Ensemble and Theon Cross were keen to support,” says Jazz re:freshed co-founder and co-chief executive, Justin McKenzie. “They believe, as we do, that technologies like these bring artists closer to their fans by literally delivering the sound of the studio.”
The Master Sessions team will work closely with Bluesound’s extensive U.K., E.U., U.S. and Canadian dealer networks to help support and promote the public listening sessions. Each event will be streamed in real-time from the studio using the MQA Live encoder, where the performance will be captured at 24-bit/192kHz resolution and ‘folded’ using MQA’s “Music Origami” technique.
At more than 100 audio retailers around the world, music fans will be invited to share in a live audio experience like no other. The exclusive gigs will be played through Bluesound’s MQA-enabled high-resolution audio players, unfolding the encoded stream to reveal the original studio performance, as though the audience was in the studio with the band.
Bluesound MQA-enabled high-resolution audio players are available online:
Bluesound PowerNode 2i
Bluesound Node 2i
Bluesound Vault 2i