Every July 4th, we celebrate America's independence with food, fun, and fireworks. For as long as most of us can remember, everything that's good about America — our diversity, freedom, individuality and self-assurance — has been proudly on display.
This year, our celebration is tempered by a growing awareness of the great challenges we face in national, global and even planetary affairs. You have to look back to the 1930s to find a comparable period, but even those challenges seem limited by comparison.
So this year we celebrate the founding of America with the knowledge that American ideals and the American character are being tested. If Americans can respond positively to the challenges we face, we may look back on this period as the time of America's maturity.
American music today reflects the maturing of our melting-pot of cultural traditions— hymns, folk and popular songs, blues, jazz, electronica, maverick classical, ethnic rhythms, and immigrant genres — a complex panorama of musical sources, freely invented and reinvented. On this transmission of Hearts of Space, we listen for the reflective side of the American soundscape, on a program called AMERICAN CROSSROADS.