Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC in VOA Special English.
I'm Doug Johnson. This week …
We travel to Louisiana for the New Orleans
Jazz and Heritage Festival ...
And answer a
question about a group of landscape painters.
first, we tell about the retirement of football broadcaster John Madden.
Last weekend National Football League teams began
choosing players for the next season. As
young players prepare to begin their professional careers in the sport, one
important person in American football announced his retirement. Bob Doughty tells us more about popular
broadcaster John Madden.
football broadcaster John Madden is loved by sports fans, coaches and players
throughout the United States.
The former football player and coach brought
his excitement and love for the sport to television viewers every time he
announced a game. John Madden is known
for his friendly personality and sense of humor. He is also known for explaining football as
he announced the games. This helped
people understand and enjoy the sport even more.
month, John Madden announced his retirement as a National Football League
broadcaster. Madden is seventy-three. He
says he wants to spend more time with his wife and family, especially his five
grandchildren. Madden says his decision
to retire was difficult because he loves everything about football.
started as a professional football player.
But an injury to his knee in nineteen fifty-eight ended his short
career. He began his career as a head
football coach in nineteen sixty-nine, when he was selected to lead the Oakland
Raiders. He coached the team for ten
years. He led the Raiders to a Super
Bowl victory in nineteen seventy-seven. Two years later he retired and became a sports
announcer for the NFL. John Madden was named to the Professional Football Hall
of Fame in two thousand six.
has announced eleven Super Bowl games during his thirty-year broadcasting
career. He has won sixteen Emmy Awards
for Outstanding Sports Analyst/Personality on television. His last game as a football announcer was
this year's Super Bowl in February.
Madden's huge influence on the sport of football continues. His video game, "Madden NFL," is the
best-selling sports video game in history.
It has sold more than seventy million copies worldwide during the last
Hudson River School
Our listener question this week comes from an artist in
Ukraine. Mykhailo Sydorenko wants to know about two American painters --
Frederic Edwin Church and Albert Bierstadt.
two artists were linked to a nineteenth century group of painters known as the
Hudson River School. A "school" of
painters refers to a group of artists whose work has a common influence. The
Hudson River School painters are considered the first official school in
detailed landscape paintings showed the huge expansiveness of American
wilderness. These paintings expressed a sense of wonder for America's natural
environment and its endless possibilities. The paintings also had a moral and
spiritual message. The painters believed that nature was a direct
representation of God.
The school was named after the Hudson River Valley in
the state of New York. Many of the artists painted this valley and its
surrounding areas. Some of the artists also traveled to paint in other
The painter Thomas Cole is said to be one of the first
members of this group. He became very successful, starting in the eighteen
twenties. Like later members of the group, Cole was well educated in the
traditions of European painting. But Cole made a clear case for creating a new
art for the new land of America.
of Cole's students was Frederic Edwin Church. His famous painting "Heart of the
Andes" was completed in eighteen fifty-nine. To create this work, Church had
traveled for nine weeks in Ecuador making drawings. When the large painting was
shown to the public, thousands of people paid money to see its strikingly real
Bierstadt is best known for his paintings of the American West. He was
influenced by later members of the Hudson River School. Bierstadt received his
training as an artist in his native Germany. Although he started painting in
New York and other eastern states, he began traveling west in eighteen
eighteen sixty-six painting "Yosemite Valley" gave many people on the East
Coast their first introduction to California's beautiful mountain area.
New Orleans Jazz Fest
The birds are back, the bees are buzzing and the
flowers are in full bloom. It is that
time of year again. Warm weather means
outdoor music festivals and one of the biggest is happening right now. Every year thousands of bands and fans travel
to the southern state of Louisiana for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage
Festival. Faith Lapidus has more.
festival is celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year. More than five
thousand musicians are expected to perform during the huge seven-day
event. About four hundred thousand
people are expected to attend. Whether
you like blues or rock, Cajun, folk, Zydeco, country, or of course, all that
jazz, you are guaranteed to hear it at Jazz Fest.
musician Wynton Marsalis is a native of New Orleans. Here is "The Razor Rim" from his newest CD
"He and She."
nine-time Grammy Award
winning Marsalis is one of the headliners at this year's festival. Other famous performers include Neil Young,
Etta James, Tony Bennett, Bonnie Rait and Sugarland. The Dave Matthews Band is
also performing. This band's mix of
jazz, world music, folk and rock is a perfect fit for the festival. Here the band performs "Funny the Way It Is."
Traditionally, most of the
performers at the festival are not well known outside of Louisiana. More than
eighty percent of the performers are locals, including Buckwheat Zydeco. Here
is his song "I'm Gonna Love You Anyway."
While the music may be at the top of the menu,
let us not forget about the food.
Lip-smacking, mouth-watering New Orleans cuisine. Visitors are enjoying crawfish etouffees, red
beans and rice, gumbo, jambalaya and the famous fried pastries called
beignets. We leave you with music from
another New Orleans native. Harry
Connick, Junior sings his song honoring the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"All These People")
I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.
It was written by Lawan Davis, June Simms, and Dana
Demange who was also the producer. For
transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, go to
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us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA's radio magazine in Special